Feigned Interest


elisabeth_icon.gif ryans3_icon.gif

Scene Title Feigned Interest
Synopsis Ryans meets the unfamiliar woman from his dream. They totally flirt… okay, so it was fake flirting. Mostly.
Date January 28, 2011

Queens: Starbucks

The sheer amount of snow on the streets has kept a lot of people at home, snarled traffic all over the place, and generally made life miserable for those required to be out in it. Again. Elisabeth is damn sick and tired of the snow and the winter's not half over. There's several new feet of snow in some places!

The disturbance was minor. Oddly, for the most part people have actually non-stereotypical New Yorkers — they're helping one another out. But … helping one another out also sometimes means things don't quite go as planned when a squad of cops and soldiers is unearthing a sidewalk in front of a nursing home and some smart (read:dumb!) ass decides to go smash in the window of a nearby car to steal the stereo. After a small chase through the snow-laden streets by what might have looked to some like a whole posse of people, the perpetrator was duly cuffed and lead away swearing.

At which point, the blonde director of FRONTLINE Manhattan glanced at the cop standing next to her and grinned. "Damn glad I'm not you, Hanratty. I get out of the paperwork!" She laughs at him, her hair a beacon against the black coat and black fleece headband she wears to keep her ears warm.

"Fuck you, Harrison," retorts the man called Hanratty in a good-natured tone with a light shove of her shoulder.

Elisabeth laughs. "See ya around, man!" she calls and peels off from the group, shoving gloved hands into the pockets of her coat and heading down the street toward the next corner. On which there happens to sit one of the ubiquitous Starbucks locations! And goddamn but it's cold out here! So in she goes.

It was a face that was familiar, if only by the fact he had seen her on the television. Benjamin Ryans has been watching the whole thing from a distance. It's curiosity that kept him there are law enforcement filled the area, normally he would have left. There were enough lookie-loos to keep him from being too suspicious standing there.

Despite the way the brim of his fedora shades his eyes from the light filtering through clouds above, Ryans squints at the scene. A part of him missed those days. Standing around talking about possibilities and protecting the people.

But the arrest wasn't why he was still there. It was the FRONTLINE director that held the old man's curiosity. Blue eyes follow her progress into the coffee shop, only following when the glass door shut behind her. He uses hurried steps to get across the street, brown duster flaring a little behind him, unable to flow too far cause of hands he has tucked into his pockets.

When he steps inside, he's thankful for the blast of warmth. He stands in line with the rest of them, keeping an eye on her. Not approaching her til she's found a spot and he's got himself a tall cup of house blend coffee.

He tries not to drink those girly coffees. Even if they are tasty.

"Would you mind if I sit here?" It's asked politely, in a soft rumble of Ben's voice, a smile allowed to crack the surface.

Elisabeth is settled at one of the corner tables, her coffee — with a lot of whipped cream denoting one of those girly coffees — is sitting in front of her and she's texting something. She glances up at the sound of the voice with wary blue eyes. An additional glance around tells her there are certainly a few other places to sit but he'd be in the same boat anywhere. Tables with a chair here or there. And she's one of the only ones sitting at a table alone.

When the blue eyes come back to him, she purses her lips slightly and shrugs. "Sure," Liz finally responds, reaching over to move her coat off the one extra chair.

"My thanks," comes the equally polite response. The duster isn't removed, but the scarf is loosened and the fedora eased off Ryans head. "Names Ben." Even though he's known for his neutrality, the old man knows how to play nice and smile when he needs to keep people at ease… at least he can keep up the act for now.

Up close there is no doubt that this woman is the unknown in his dream, she can even see a little short nod of his head as if deciding something.

"I was surprised to see someone as well known as you, would be allowed to roam the city without some sort of escort." Ryans' tone is friendly as he moves to pull the lid off his cup and take a glance. He pauses as if suddenly worried, brows lifting in an questioning manner. "You are Miss Harrison? FRONTLINE Director?"

Lifting her cup to her lips, Elisabeth's lips quirk into a rueful smile. "An escort? Mmmmm." She shrugs a little, perhaps debating whether to lie about her identity. And then she simply shrugs slightly. "If Humanis First wants to put a bullet in my head, they're going to manage it from a distance anyway. So an escort does nothing but get in my way and curtail what little freedom I have remaining." She lifts her brows and smiles at him. "You know… the freedom to let a handsome gentleman join me at my table? It'd be all gone."

That manages to get a chuckle from Ryans, mouth tugging up to one side. "You flatter me," he says with amusement coloring his tone, though his does let his gaze roam over her thoughtfully. Then he declares, "Though coming from such a lovely woman as yourself, I'll take it as a compliment." The lid pops back on his cup, thumbs rubbed over the edge of the lid to makes sure it's been snapped into place.

"So I regret that I do, however, feel the need to ask…" His smile fades a little, but doesn't leave his face completely. He's settling into business now. "Do you know an Abigail Caliban? Or a Joseph Sumter?" There is a sharpness to the look Ryans levels at her, not unfriendly but to judge her reaction.

She goes very still and those blue eyes go sharp as lasers on her. "I guess that depends on why you're asking, Ben," Elisabeth replies in a deceptively calm tone. The query just jacked her adrenaline into the stratosphere and though she sips from her cup, there's a sense of …. something… just at the edge of awareness.

"They are friends." Ryans states, nonchalantly, voice soft enough so that it is lost in most of the din in the coffee shop beyond where they sit. "People that I put my neck out to protect." He looks impressed at her reaction. Eyes narrow ever so slightly, deepening the lines at the corners of them.

A sip is taken from his cup, a grimace at the scalding heat on his tongue, before he settles back in an illusion of being relaxed. "What would you say, if I told you… They and you were in a dream. Along with other names I am fairly certain that you may know."

Elisabeth's cup hits the table with a thump and she glances around. Making no pretense of anything with him, she flat out mutes everything, encasing them in a bubble. The sense of something is still there at the edges — of perhaps weight or a wave about to crash. "I'd say that I might believe you. Perhaps. Considering part of the greater New York metropolitan area was given a precognitive flash, I'd be interested in learning why a man I've never met before is dreaming of me." Her smile, though cute and appearing flirty enough to anyone on the outside of the bubble, is belied by the ice-cold assessment in her eyes. "Start with who you are and then tell me what you sought me out to tell me."

"You see part of my own predicament." Ryans keeps that smile on his own face, keeping up illusions, even as the world goes silent around them. His voice however, is all business, gruff and flat. "My name is Benjamin Ryans." As in the Company's Assistant Director who was fired and about killed by his former employer… the government.

"I am also… very much… without the gene that make you and others special." She might know that if she knows anything about the Company and it's fall. That and that he's sitting here a very wanted man. "Yet, I had a dream about you and others at the funeral of the Pastor, years from now. Possibly fifteen or so. You were of course older, with a boy… about roughly eight or nine, but it was you." He sounds confident of this.

His brows lift a bit, shifting so that he can lean forward and rest elbows on the small table he cup between them. "So I had to find out about you and how you are… associated with them." He studies her, assessing her. Possibly as to how much of a threat she is.

The name is not unfamiliar to her. Calculation enters her expression for a moment, but it is quickly eclipsed by the realization of the last name. Delia. "You're taking a hell of a chance being seen with me, Ben," Elisabeth says softly in spite of the bubble. She lifts her cup to her lips once more and listens to what he's saying. "As to the threat level I possess…. I'm the one who got your daughter's body out of the line of fire when her previous locale became too dangerous. I'm not a threat to you. Or anyone else that you've named. Abigail is one of my best friends — she'll vouch for me if you ask her."

"I know." He states calmly, at the mention of the risk he's taking. Not that he really looks old enough to have a daughter, Delia's age. "But what is life, but fraught with risks and perils. And thanks to a work related accident, I don't look like my wanted poster." A callused hand runs over the stubble of his jaw.

"But good." There is a short nod of his head, the ever slightest relaxing of his shoulders. "And I am going to guess by your reaction, you did not yourself have this same dream?" Benjamin asks curiously, watching her. "I've never had a dream so clear in my head. Like afresh memory. So there would be no mistaking it."

"No… I didn't have this dream," Elisabeth says softly. "Why don't you tell me a bit more about it?" she asks, her curiosity piqued. "You said it was clearly a good distance in the future. She leaves off mention of the bit of personal information he offered — she was 40 and having kids? Well… not exactly a shocker, what with all that's going on right now and getting worse.

"It was the Pastor's funeral." Ryans starts, expression turning thoughtful and his gaze drops to the surface of the table. "Kaylee Thatcher was giving the eulogy…" He launches then into a rather detailed description of events, the people in it and all. Leaving off the where. It is after all a secret island.

When her speaks of the teenager that screamed at him and Raith, she can see the darkness around his eyes that speaks of sleepless nights. When he finishes talking about it, Ryans seems bothered by this Dream, brows furrowed. "I have three children of my own, though I only raised two of them… I can't even fathom…"

Ben goes quiet there, shaking his head slowly. "It's so far into the future, but I can't help but be worried that this was a glimpse of things. To worry what actions did I fail to take." A heavy sigh escapes through his nose and he gives her a hint of a smiles. "As I said… It's my job to protect these people."

"It's all of our jobs," Elisabeth says quietly, her tone flat. "I've only ever been a peripheral ally because I didn't want to draw too much unwanted attentions to those associates." The blonde smiles, a faint bitter thing. "Interesting that now we're on the same side of the fence when a year ago you were calling me and mine terrorists," she observes, sipping from her coffee as she glances around the coffee shop. Resting her elbows on the table, she leans on them and she continues to keep her expression as one of amused interest in anything he says. To anyone else, it would look for all the world like flirting. "I wish I could tell you anything about it," she adds softly. "But I don't know anything except… that things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. You and Jensen Raith need to keep any and all of your couriers the fuck out of Midtown. And start making arrangements to get them further from Manhattan proper, if you can. I don't know when or how, but I'm pretty certain that at some point they're going to figure out where you are. And when they do, I can't promise that it'll be my team that shows up on your doorstep. I've no control at all over the other team — the one that executed some members of the program in cold blood."

A smile tugs up at the corner of Ryans' mouth, eyes narrowing as if seriously considering what she's saying. "I'm finding that I am starting to prefer this side of the fence. Pay and benefits are not all that great, but…" He shrugs a shoulder, even as he keeps up that look interest for the public. "Besides, us terrorist and traitors to the country need to stick together." There is a joking quality, if mild. "Till the people wake up." Which may be never.

"And my I say, for a terrorist, you seem to have found your way into a rather powerful position." And Ben doesn't have to fake that impressed look.

"Only because I had something they wanted….. and enough to hang me with if I refused," Elisabeth says drily. She shrugs a little. Maybe that's not the only reason — she's reasonably canny at her job, after all. It's not as if she's unqualified. She grimaces slightly. "I think it's a matter of keeping your enemies closer, really." She shoves a hand through her hair and props her chin on that same hand when she's done, the other toying with her coffee cup. "If I figure out anything with regard to the dream, I can send you a message if you want." She smiles a bit. "I can't promise anything on that one, though."

"That… I would appreciate greatly." Straightening, Ryans reaches into the inner pocket of his jacket and pulls out a pen. He might not be an agent any longer, but certain habits are too stubborn to die. Pulling a napkin from the dispenser, he jots down a number. There is a slightly smug smirk on his lips, while he gives 'the girls' his number.

All a part of the act.

The napkin is held out to her, folded in half between Ben's fingers. "You may not come up with anything, but having your ears open at least is worth it."

"If you and yours get any active video footage of what's going on in Midtown with the robots? Send it by Alley Cat Courier to Redbird, okay?" Elisabeth says with a smile as she takes the number. Stealing his pen from him, she returns the favor. "If you need anything, text me. I'll make a meet work somehow." She slides her own napkin across to him with a flirty little wrinkle of her nose, dropping the silence field to chuckle as she climbs to her feet and retrieves her coat. "I'll definitely be waiting, handsome," she teases as she shrugs into it.

Napkin and pen are plucked from the table, the number glanced at before it disappears into his coat. "Oh I have no doubt you will be hearing from me," Ryans reassures, placing the fedora back on his head with care.

"And for what it's worth, you are a very lovely woman, Miss Harrison." Ben rises to his feet, looping that scarf around his neck against the cold outside. "And it was truly a pleasure to meet you in person. Take care." Coffee retrieved he lifts it in a sort of farewell salute, before moving to make his exit.

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