It's All Relative


bryan_icon.gif gwen_icon.gif odessa_icon.gif sabra_icon.gif

Scene Title It's All Relative
Synopsis It may be brinner, but time is relative anyway.
Date October 13, 2008

Primatech Research - Cafeteria

"For the last time, Doctor Knutson, I have plenty of your little green pills." Bryan does his best to keep his tone level as he moves away from the end of the cafeteria line and toward a table. What's the point of doing grocery shopping anyway, if one can get all of one's meals here? It may cost a bit, but it's a far better alternative for someone who doesn't cook often or potentially well. "Throwing bottle after bottle at me isn't going to make me start taking them again."

Bryan finds a seat and takes it, but before he digs in, he makes a point of removing each breakfast item from his tray. Coffee. Plate of eggs, scrambled. Small bowl of cottage cheese. Plate of toast with packets of butter and jelly. Reaching into his sport coat, Bryan pulls out one of his trademark cloth napkins. He takes a sip of the black coffee, then wipes the edge of the mug.

A face that probably isn't expected in the cafeteria soon makes an appearance, the little old lady who's been given charge of this facility's operations walking into the room with Ashton an appropriate distance behind her. Sabra doesn't head for the line, but gives the cafeteria a curious survey, sea-blue eyes bright in her wrinkled face. She pauses to greet an agent who has apparently already had his little chat with the woman, which soon turns into an exchange of introductions all around the table.

"Doesn't it bother you, being unable to be close to someone?" Knowing Doctor Knutson, she means purely in the proximal sense, and not emotionally or… Biblically. "It would bother me." The nice thing about being a Company asset means you get to wave a little card that says your meals are paid for. It must be nice having no concept of the value of a dollar. Odessa's meal is nearly identical to Bryan's, by coincidence, she assures. "I just think it would be a p…ain." The blonde leans across the table to whisper in a conspiratorial manner, "That's the new director!" She tilts her head ever-so-slightly toward Sabra and her aide.

"New director?" While it makes sense for someone to step in and fill in Bob's shoes, but Bryan's had his head so deep in other matters that he barely even noticed. It takes him a moment of squinting to remember the memo. "Oh. Right. New director." He cranes to try and see the older woman, less interested in her aide. "It's the same game, despite who the active management is, Knutson. And no, it doesn't bother me. When Elle is safe and sound in Company care, I'll take them again." Hope is quite a powerful force. Still, the similar choice in breakfast items and this pestering about his medication pulls a smile onto Bryan's face — one that shows the tips of his pearly white fangs. "Why? Do you think I should be getting close to someone?"

Odessa grins mischievously. "You're awful close to me right now, Agent Buckley. Aren't you afraid you'll accidentally spit on me or my food and I'll die?" She slides a capped syringe out of her pocket and sets it on the table between their two trays. "Just in case."

Maybe it's the craning of Bryan's head. Maybe it's just that their table happens to be the next one over. Either way, Sabra concludes the conversation she's involved in and moves on — to where Bryan and Odessa are sitting. Just in time to hear Odessa's needling of the venomous agent. "I have to say, that is an excellent question," the little old lady remarks. The look she turns upon Buckley, however, isn't in the least concerned or reprimanding. Just a sort of good-natured curiosity, as she waits for his rejoinder.

Bryan's eyebrows go up along with the corners of his mouth at Odessa's revelation and comment, but Sabra's entrance into their little bubble prevents the latter's continuation on that path toward a grin. He swallows, then pulls an identical syringe from his pocket, laying it as a mirror image to Odessa's. "The doctor and I are of a similar mind when it comes to safety measures, Miz Dalton. You needn't worry." The brief smirk he gives her is not unlike that of an adolescent who has discovered the upper hand, if only for a moment. "It's good to see you again."

Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy! Gwendolyn is admittedly dressed down — she's in one of Hugh's SAS t-shirts and sweats, sneakers on her feet and hair in a ponytail. She strides into the cafeteria with a spring in her step, usually either attributed to her husband's presence or beating the crap of a gym bag. Sometimes both.

"Madame Dalton," Odessa greets, the barest hint of a practiced French accent there. The last time they met, Doctor Knutson was still practicing her French in earnest. "Agent Buckley and I both know the dangers associated with his ability. We aren't unprepared." Bryan does earn himself a look, however. You've been in my stuff, mister.

The smile that threatened previously blossoms on the elderly woman's face, blue eyes gleaming. "So formal, Bryan?" Now her tone is chiding, but it's still good-natured. Almost grandmotherly. "I never meant to suggest you were," she says to Odessa. "<The accent suits you, dear,>" Sabra continues, easily switching from French-accented English to the other language she's been immersed in for the past decade.

Ashton shifts slightly behind her, the innocuous movement seeming to have been a reminder of some sort by the smile given to the agent and doctor. "I'll see you tomorrow, yes?" Not waiting for an affirmative — and not giving them a chance to deny — Sabra makes her way back towards the door, casting the energized Gwendolyn a grin in passing.

Bryan nods respectfully to Sabra as she exits, but whether it is out of professionalism or genuine respect is unknown. Once she's gone, he looks back to Odessa and shrugs. "You can't blame me, Doctor. If I didn't take such precautions, you'd only have more cause to throw your pills at me."

"Madame Dalton," Gwendolyn's French is excellent as she continues, "I look forward to speaking to you about my partner." With that, she moves to one of the machines and conjures up a sports drink before resorting to English. "Agent Buckley, Doctor. Good evening."

"You've been touching my stuff, secret agent man." Odessa frowns faintly, about to say something else when a pager in her pocket goes off. "Oh, shit." She glances at the message on it. "The patient in Eight is trying to make KFC outta someone again. I gotta go." She flashes a brief, worried smile to Gwendolyn as she drops her pager back into her pocket, gathering up her tray and her syringe. "Don't forget your appointment, Buckley." She gives another nod toward the woman. "Agent Wickham." And she's off in a sweep of white lab coat.

Such is socializing with a doctor. Bryan waves Odessa off before he looks to Gwendolyn. Evening? Bryan looks down at his breakfast, but he doesn't say anything. Time is relative. Anyone in the Company knows that much. "Wickham," he says with a nod, vaguely gesturing for the agent to join him.

Gwendolyn gives Odessa an amiable smile, and moves to take a seat across from Bryan. "Don't you get confused when Hugh is here? We're both Agent Wickham. Gwen is fine, Gwendolyn if you're feeling completely feudal. I suppose I could go by my maiden name…"

"Why is everyone on me today about what I call them?" Bryan asks with a smirk as he takes another drink of his coffee, wiping the mug in turn, as is his usual routine. "You're both Agent Wickham. It's when it's in writing that it gets confusing, but with any hope, I won't have to be writing your name any time soon."

"You say that now, but wait until we're in the same room!" Gwen chides good-naturedly. She uncaps her sports drink and takes as elegant a sip as if it were tea. "Pray tell, whyever would you be writing my name down?" she asks with a mild smile.

But Bryan just shakes his head. If Gwendolyn isn't aware of the work he does, he's not the one to tell her. "Don't worry about it. I'm sure I'll never do it, which is probably for the best. Believe me. How is your husband?"

"Ohhh." she nods. His hit list. "Out on assignment." she says. "It's quite dreadful, his gallivanting about. I wonder when I'll be getting a turn. I suppose when Niki's deemed fit for field duty."

"You honestly think that the Sanders woman is sane enough to be trusted out in the field?" There's a smirk on Bryan's face, and his voice has lowered quite a bit to avoid being overheard. "You'd put your life in her fickle hands?"

Gwendolyn tsks gently. "Did I say she was ready for field duty? I said when she's deemed fit for it. Back of the class for not paying attention to what was said." She waggles a finger, but pulls it back as if she feared him taking a bite, all with an equally wry smirk. "When the time is right, we'll have to see. We deal with the partners we're assigned with, you know that. I do realize of course, that I haven't been here for over ten years without ever taking a day off while deeply convinced I am the sole solution to every problem child we have…" her eyes twinkle, "But I think I'll manage. And I'm not unprepared with regard to precautions."

Something Gwendolyn has said has obviously amused the man across from her, because as she speaks, his smirk grows into a soft sort of grin. "If I ever had a partner, Gwendolyn, I have to say I'd be upset if it wasn't you. Here's hoping the powers that be pair you with Sanders, if they haven't already." He raises his mug before taking another sip, which is followed by a wipe from the napkin.

Gwendolyn raises hers. "Cheers, and why thank you, Bryan. She's actually already been paired with me, so ta-da! Your wish comes true. Now, I've already invited Niki over for dinner one night, but after Hugh gets back, you owe us an evening as well. Say yes, and I promise you I'll have a cabernet on hand that you'll adore."

"How could I refuse such hospitality," Bryan says with a chuckle. He begins to pick at his food, that smile still on his face. It's among the first of a short string he's worn within the facility for awhile now. "Promise it won't happen until things here have…settled some?"

"Of course not." Gwendolyn rises. "Can't go having a good time while there's work to be done, unless that's your idea of a good time. Have a good day, Bryan. I'm off for a bit."

"You as well. Give my best to Hugh." With that and a nod, Bryan goes back to his breakfast.

October 13th: Her Eyes Are Shining
October 14th: The Best Suggestion
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