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Scene Title Ill-Advised
Synopsis Vincent's contemplating doing something "Ill-advised" Aka, potentially stupid, which for him, is monumental. He just wants to ensure that someone else knows it. In case he doesn't come back.
Date October 25, 2010

Pretentious Restaurant

Food is overpriced, not enough of it and you're better off going to McDonalds.

The lights are low and warm, the table looks and feels genuinely antique and the wine is expensive. On the flip side, as is to be expected, the portions are too small, the waiter has an attitude and Vincent has managed to say something (or several somethings) that's made him vanish for a good twenty minutes and counting. Fortunately he left the wine bottle behind.

Done eating, really, a sliver of steak left to marinate in a few clippings of sad-looking salad, Lazzaro pours himself a fresh glass that is taller than is strictly polite.

At least he looks like he belongs — inky suit tailored cleanly over soot grey with a cool touch of green, particularly at the tie. Somehow or another he managed to lie, cheat or threaten his way out've the office early enough to have dinner, and if he is paying for this entire ridiculous bottle, then he fully intends to drink it.

"She'll hit McDonalds or some little shwarma place on the way home when all is said and done, partaking of the wine as well. His turn to pay, it'll be hers next time. Her own salmon is finished, undesirable bits left to the way along with some rice, fork and knife laid across the plate and her glass slid forward for Vincent to refill the crystal. They don't pay for the size of the food here. This place you pay for the pretentiousness.

A deep inhale, the traditional topics covered during the meal, work is fine, prosecuting some kiddy diddler and looks like an open and shut case, a handful of others that were on her plate and either pleaded out or were found guilty. Tasha was through, doing good in school, thoughts about what to get her for her birthday. The usual, that's to be expected. But now she's silent, like him, black suit jacket draped across the seat of another chair and silk blouse a little wrinkled from the days wear.

Fair is fair. Vincent fills Joanna's glass nearly to the brim now that no one is watching, bottleneck clicked to crystal with the kind of lazy lack of care that might dribble excess onto the table if he didn't tip it back just in the nick of time.

He looks tired when he's finally set it aside again and lifted his own glass to sip. Really tired. Deeply tired. She's seen it in him before — just prior to the divorce. But rarely — if ever — since.

"I'm thinking," he says at length, fork prodded idly into the thick of the steak he has left, "of doing something ill-advised."

"You're not sleeping. You're stressed and worried over something. Tell me, will I need to break out my books and be prepared to defend you if you do this ill-advised something Vincent?"

She pulls her glass back, arranging it just so on the table to her right, regarding him across the way. "Does it have something to do with our daughter and her little group of vagabonds?"

"No offense, honey, but the only book you'd be breaking out would whatever phonebook you'd need to refer me to someone else." Even the skeptical humor etched in black around his eyes is tired when he looks up from spearing asparagus against the flawless china of his plate. "Not that I don't think you're still the very best when it comes to putting people into prison." Presumably as opposed to keeping them out of it.

Fork abandoned so that he can swallow down a longer pull of wine, Vincent reaches experimentally to extract his wallet, but no waitstaff is immediately forthcoming as a result.

"Indirectly," is a true answer but not a particularly telling (or promising) one while he thumbs through Benjamins and General Grants.

"So why are you telling me? So that I can be a sounding board to see if perhaps you really have gone round the bend like I accused you of in the past or because…" SHe doesn't bother to fish for her wallet to cover tip, and with no incoming waiter, she takes the chance to abuse her manners and lean forward, elbows on the table while doing so. "what Vincent, are you, the most law abiding citizen that I have ever met to the point that I think you have a heart attack if you find you've gone one mile over the speed limit, doing that you think would be ill-advised?"

"I shouldn't say. I mean," more wine, another bill flopped rag-limp onto his side of the table, "I can't, really. But I had to tell someone. You." The correction comes after half a beat — thoughtful and at a slight remove. Only slightly awkward. Not just any someone.

A few raggedy Washingtons kicked out onto the cash pile for good measure, Vincent looks down his nose after too much green and scuffs absently at the bristle on his chin. "I'm not really sure what I'm doing."

"Pass me a dollar" She's not his lawyer, but she is a lawyer and since she's no longer married to him, those conventions that protect things spoken in matrimony aren't in effect either. "THen you can tell me, and I can decide whether your ass needs a kicking or whether I think it's something that while ill-advised, you should do." She wriggles her french tipped fingers, waiting. "our daughter is living in her building too but it's supposedly under construction. Not that it looked inside like it was under construction and there were quit e afew people living there for a place that's boarded up"

"I already know," says Vincent, simply. "I have taken the liberty of agreeing with myself for you." The last muffled a bit into the lift and tip of his glass, he stays (mostly) upright for all that the sudden spike in his intake is already visibly beginning to slake some of the natural, flatfooted tension out of his wrist.

"Your nails look very nice. Ten out of ten." Rather than say anything about Tasha, her living arrangements or the fact that it sounds very much like she is staying in a safehouse, her ex-husband takes another sip.

"At fifty dollars with some likely illegal immigrant who can only repeat "You want red" and is likely from Korea, they better be nice" She drops her palm down to her own glass, no same amount consumed of the red vintage and watching the edges of him relax that incremental fraction.

"You're going to throw your hat in with them? Do you want me to pre-emptively find some shark of a lawyer that I know who can bail you out of jail should the Department of Evolved Affairs hero find himself on the other side of the bars? Not that there's any bars that can keep you anywhere if you put your mind to it"

She lifts her own glass, taking a deep draw from it's depth and reducing the level an inch. "Will you hate yourself if you do? Or more importantly, will you hate yourself if you do do it, and did our daughter come to you about it or is this from her littel girlfriend?"

"I am not," not, he pauses for the effect, pointed, "throwing my lot in with anyone. Least of all a rag-tag team of teenaged terrorists harboring wanted fugitives between stacks of illegal firearms and stolen helicopters. And I won't need a lawyer." Less wine in the glass, more wine in him. Then more wine into the glass. He has to focus to avoid spilling, this time.


Bottle still held aloft in vague offer, he tilts the neck her way with a hint of a waggle.

"I'm going to be unhappy either way. But neither of them has asked this of me."

"So you just wanted a sympathetic witness and so that I'd know if your body turned up somewhere, to prepare our daughter for your demise" Okay, maybe she has had more than a little wine too regardless of food to ease the effects. "Whatever you do… I'll be sure you have a fitting eulogy and I'll kick out any troublemakers to your funeral" Given you know, that she survived past the eighth as well. "So long as you kick out any at mine"

"More or less," agreed with a mild kind of honesty, Vincent lifts his glass in a half-hearted toast to her offer in exchange for the same in turn, nearly impassive to the prospect of his own funeral as he is the atmosphere here. "I think next time it's my turn to pay we're going to McDonalds."

"Probably taste better. Think they'll let us bring our own bottle of wine and not charge a cork fee?" He had wanted some place private. "Tasha is going to remain with me, the week of the eighth. If you're going to go ahead and arrange the detail that you were musing about way back when. I'm shoveling cases to other people and asking the judges on some cases if they might postpone them" You know, in case she somehow does still end up laying on a parkade floor with a Russian.

"Tasha keeps telling me to avoid any parking garages, but I haven't ahd the heart to point out that it's where they put the people who were going to die, not where the incident that lead to it, actually took place"

"I'll see what I can do," sounds altogether less promising than whatever prior reassurances he might have made, too easy off the tip of his tongue with wine to help it along. He might have to blackmail someone. …Or ask very, very nicely.

"The intelligent thing for both of you to do would be to leave the city." But they won't. Wind glass upended and bottle hooked about its slender neck, Vincent leans to get to his feet without excusing himself.

"I had the cruise tickets bought. I still have the cruise tickets, I haven't given them to the soon t be married para-legal. I lied to her. But she won't leave the city. If you really want me to leave Vincent, then I'll do it. I'll take off, go stay in the Hamptons or somewhere, so it's one less worry that you have and you won't need to see what you can do"

She puts her glass down, looking at him, trying to discern whether he's getting up because he has a bladder that's making the same face at him that he's making at her. Or whether he's done and wants to go. Money on the table, she's pretty sure it's the latter and is taking a cue from his rising, reaching down to pluck up her purse so she can lift away from the table.

There's an undignified sway to Vincent's shoulders once he's up — balance skewed far to the right and slow to correct even once he's reached with his free hand to brace himself against his seat. He doesn't look surprised, though. More resigned when he lets go and tries again, this time with marginally greater success.

"Do what you think is right," he says, leniently (for him) and with a glug of the bottle when he cants it slightly sideways. "I," he tilts it the other way as he leans after her for an uncharacteristically affectionate kiss (well past the lips — after the more neutral territory of cheek and neck and all of that) "am taking this with me."

She'll chalk it up to inebriation, impending doom/death/end of the world and ill-advised things. One hand reaching up to steady him and settled on his upper arm when he presses a kiss to her cheek, going so far as to return the same. "Sure you don't want to bring another with you, have a rare moment at home." He'll poof into smoke, she's sure, the moment her back is turned, and drift away so as not to be caught with an open container on the streets. "Be well vincent. Call if you need me. I'll keep you updated on Natasha and what she chooses to do." Her hand squeezes his arm. "Have a happy Birthday. Treat it like it might be your last hmm?"

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