Impossible to Ignore


f_april_icon.gif silver_icon.gif

Scene Title Impossible to Ignore
Synopsis April and James go out to dinner that they implicitly agree not to call a first date, while explicitly agreeing there will be more.
Date August 3, 2010

Alias Restaurant, Lower East Side

Giddy is all too apt a word tonight; or maybe that's just the butterflies trying to flutter up out of her stomach.

Tuesday night, sunlight starting to shade redly through the city smog, going-home rush hour past its peak but still in force. The fire-engine-red building in its corner lot is not quite packed, but definitely doing good business; the air inside is thick with speech, the rise and ebb of conversational murmuring. Dressed in a dark blue dress with a stylized, vaguely floral print in ivory, her light jacket a softer cornflower blue, April sits in a corner booth — on the wall side, of course. Half of her hair has been caught up in a tail; the lower half remains free to drape her shoulders.

It's been three weeks to the day since she called Silver; three weeks of intermittent talking, of conversations reaffirming the ties between them, and yet her nerves are anything but settled. To be fair, April doesn't want to settle, doesn't want their meetings to become normal and mundane when their reunion is anything but. She fidgets with the neon-lime-green straw in her water glass, probably added more as a counterpoint to the decor in browns, golds, and reds than out of necessity; the two menus on the table still rest exactly where the server left them.

The last three weeks since they first talked have been a whirlwind of emotions for James Silver. Even as he's talked with those around him, he has yet to mention April to a single soul. To be fair, he's not even sure what he'd tell them at this point. How he'd explain that some of them were at her funeral and yet here she is. They've had phone conversations and yet this is really their first actual 'date', if you will.

He's dressed up, just a little, though not much more than what he wears typically to work as a lawyer. He knows the restaurant well as he walks up to the entrance and steps inside. He removes his jacket and drapes it over his arm as he scans the room looking for her and when he spots her, his stomach knots up just a little as he realizes he's more nervous than he thought. The talks on the phone have nothing compared to this face-to-face meeting. He takes a deep breath and lets someone knows that he's with her and walks over and stands next to the table, looking down. "You… you look great." She really does. He realizes he's still standing, then he slides into his chair after draping his jacket across the back of it. "Sorry I'm late. A little trafficky out today." Like it is every day.

Anyone who happened to be looking at April when James walked in the door would figure the 'he's with her' part immediately: to say her expression lights up would not be metaphorical. "Thank you." She smiles at the compliment, and starts to gesture him into the chair — winds up not needing to, as his presence of mind catches up with his environment. "You're not late," the woman protests, shaking her head a bit. Or not late enough to be worth the word.

Her fingers rest on the edges of the menu, but don't quite move to open it; she pulls the one a little more over onto her side of the table, then looks back over at him. "It's good to see you again," April says as she takes in his appearance, voice quiet with sincerity. "How was work?"

Reaching up to run his fingers through his short hair, an unconscious maneuver to say the least, he smiles at her and gives a small shrug. "Oh, just busywork. I mean, not that it's not important, but there hasn't been anything real major on my plate for a few weeks now." She may not think he's late, but even a minute past when he said he'd meet her is late for him.

Silver reaches for the other menu and pulls it towards him, not yet opening it. He really hasn't taken his eyes off of her since he walked in.

"And you?" He knows that she works at the hotel, and knows it probably isn't what she's used to doing. "Do you really like it where you work now?" His finger dips into the menu and flips up the top page, then lets it drop, then flip it up and lets it drop again… more of a nervous habit than anything.

Homeland Security agent turned desk clerk. It's a good question. April twists a lock of hair around her finger, gaze shifting slightly sideways of Silver as she reflects on now and then. "It's a lot… simpler," she finally answers, refocusing on him, lips tugging into a smile. "It's been good for… getting my feet back under me, you know? And there's…" The smile dims just a notch. "It's not like anything I've done before." Then it returns, shading into a hint of grin as one finger stretches out to pin down the cover he's noisily fidgeting with. Stop that. "Yeah, I think I do," April concludes.

Silver finds that very familiar, the way she would stop him from fidgeting. He can't help but let a grin spread across his face and he glances from her face to see her finger holding down the edge of the menu he's fiddling with. His finger reaches over and brushes against hers, "Yeah, I know." He knows she used to bug him about that, but he seems to do it a lot around her, especially at first. Of course, this is like being the first time again, so he flushes a little and looks back up at her. "Sorry."

He finally opens the menu all the way, though the words in that pamphlet don't seem to have much interest for him as he continues to look across the table towards her. "I'm glad you're happy. You deserve to be." It's one thing he never thought he would be. At least at first.

Her grin broadens in echo of his. "I'll forgive you, this time," April replies, mock-teasing in magnanimity. She also opens her menu, doing more pretending to read it than actual perusal of its contents. Green eyes angle up as Silver resumes speaking, and she smiles slowly. "Thanks."

It's here that the server appears and inquires if the gentleman would care for something to drink? Also if they're ready to order — which of course neither are, and at this rate never will be, because the menu is so much less fascinating than the person on the other side of the table. From both perspectives. Knowing no amount of time is going to change that, April picks an entree at random and hands her menu over. Then, however, she has nothing in-hand to play with; lacing her fingers together, she rests her hands on the tabletop as the server departs, waiting until he's a good distance away before looking back to Silver — and coloring faintly. "I have no idea what I just ordered," she admits with a sheepish grin as she ducks her head. "Not really."

Cconsidering he responded with, "I'll have the same," he's in the same boat as her. "I figured that you knew what the hell you were ordering. You typically have good taste in food." He doesn't catch himself though, as he has to keep reminding himself that this isn't the exact same April as he knew. And he probably isn't the exact same Silver that she knew. His blue eyes stares over at her and he shrugs. "We'll have an interesting dinner then. Not that I was here for the food in the first place."

There's been something on Silver's mind for a while, but it just hasn't seemed to be the right time to ask, so he just slides his hand across the table and lets his fingers touch hers as they are folded together. "What do we do now?" Whatever it is that they are feeling now, it's there. He isn't going to deny that. "Now that we're aware of each other, and it's obvious there's something," he doesn't dare define it yet, "what do we do about it?"

Laughing briefly, April raises a hand to cover her grin. "If I knew, it disappeared when you walked in the door," she answers, looking at him sidelong. Then she turns to face him more directly as he speaks, her expression sobering, bringing her hand down to fold over his. "I don't know," the woman answers quietly as her thumb rubs against the back of his hand. "I didn't — I had the option to step into her shoes," she continues, more quietly still. "Legally, that is. I didn't take it." A statement of the obvious, but a necessary one. Her smile is fleeting, nervous. "Here I am…" No, she isn't going to say it either. "…sharing a table with a lawyer, and there's not much legal to me. At least you're not a cop, right?" It's not much of a joke, but she tries, and that counts for something, doesn't it?

April pauses, taking in a breath. It doesn't do much to settle her. "I don't know what to do. I want… I… would like what we lost," she says, looking shyly across the table. "To… to try again. I know… I've made things complicated," which is an understatement when you 'return' from the dead, "but I…" Her voice trails off, and she smiles, crooked and rueful.

"I wish you'd have taken it. It'd be so much easier." Silver doesn't ask how she could have or why she didn't. He leans forward, keeping his hand with hers and as his eyes search one of her eyes, then the other and back again several times. Eyes he's looked into so many times in the past. "I… I mean, we could.." He brushes his thumb against the back of her hand and tilts his head just a little, "… try. I have no idea how to explain you to those who were there for me when you… when she was taken from me."

Eyes drop momentarily to where the hands are joined and he takes a deep breath, letting the exhale come slowly afterwards. "I…" he pauses, as if his thoughts have fled and he tries to bring them back, "I don't know that I can just ignore that you're here. I don't know that I can continue to live as if you're gone when you're not." His eyes are starting to water and so he pauses as he lets his gaze raise upwards, trying to will the tears away. "I just don't think I can," he finally says as he makes eye contact again.

Slender fingers close a little more tightly on his. "I tried," she says quietly. Tears well in April's eyes, a single drop beading over and trailing down her cheeks as the lids close over them. "I know I can't. Ignore you. Can't just go —" She draws in a breath, throat working with the effort of swallowing after it; opens her eyes to look across at James. Her smile is a little shaky, but warm in its affection. "We'll think of something," the woman continues. "If — if you want to. Try."

Oh God. She's going to cry. His own tears begin to come; though he does his best not to let them roll down his cheek, they do well up in his eyes. He swallows and takes a deep deep breath, then his presses his upper teeth against his lower lip. "I want to…" He feels her grip tightening in his and he returns it, hand shaking just a little. "… try. I want to try." Silver has a thought that causes him to turn up a small grin. "You're older now. Think you can keep up with me?" He's looking up at the server as he pulls his hand from hers so the plates can be set down.

April's breath catches on the edge of laughter as their plates are set down; the server is astute enough to realize anything more from her would only be an unwanted intrusion, and quietly retreats to her other duties. As she does so, the woman at the table leans her hands on its edge, quiet laughter impossible to restrain longer. It isn't quite crying, although she has to scrub the tears from her eyes more than once; it doesn't last long enough to shade into hysterics; but the fit is close kin to both.

Sniffling, and breathing carefully slow, deep breaths around it to maintain a fragile control, April looks down at the plate before her without seeing more than the vagaries of color and shape. She lifts her gaze, red-rimmed green shimmering under a thin film of liquid; dips her fingers in the glass of water and flicks icy droplets at Silver in mock umbrage, yet can't help but smile. No, rather say beam. "You try and stop me," she retorts. "Just you try."

Conveniently forgetting, for the moment, that it was never James who caused the wrenches thrown into their former lives.

Silver shows he actually has teeth when he smiles, watching as she tries not to laugh. He nods to the server before they are left alone once again. He tones down to a smile when she flicks him with water and he blinks his eyes and reaches up and brushes droplets of water from his face. "How mature of you."

His eyes soften, as he gazes across the table at her as he reaches for his fork. "I," he pauses eyes flicking from one of her eyes to the other briefly, "have no idea who I thank for you coming back into my life, but I will thank you for picking up that phone."

He'll never know what happened to his April, but he'll be eternally thankful for this second chance, no matter how it turns out.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License