Let It Go


barbara_icon.gif niki_icon.gif richard3_icon.gif

Scene Title Let It Go
Synopsis Two meetings are requested, and Barbara tells Richard to let something go… that he probably never will.
Date June 8, 2018

Raytech NYCSZ Branch Office - CEO's Office

A large double-window along one wall of Richard Ray's office allows natural light to spill in throughout the office and provides an excellent view of the green roof on the lower floor of the building, the flowered garden spreading out between rows of solar panels.

The walls of the office are in slate grey, the carpeting on the floor matching, and the furniture is all in black glass, metal, and leather - but the modern starkness is offset by the tall potted plants that grow along the side of the room opposite the window. The CEO's desk is a broad affair in black glass with a video feed and touch-screen built into the surface of the desk itself, the non-interactive portions of the desk decorated sparsely with a plastic 'in' and 'out' box, a framed picture of Elisabeth Harrison, and an old onyx chess king set beside it like reminders of times long past..

It’s been a busy few months for both Richard Ray and Barbara Zimmerman, and a long-delayed meeting has finally been scheduled for this afternoon— with the CEO of Raytech inquiring if she might invite her sister along as well, because he has some non-business matters to discuss with the two of them as well as whatever it is Barbara has in mind.

Upon arriving in the lobby, the pair are given guest lanyards and warned not to remove them within the building - some sort of security precaution, it seems. One of the security guards escorts them amiably through the building to the office of the CEO, opening the door for them before stepping aside.

Richard’s sitting behind his desk, leaning back in his chair and turned to one side - a laser-pointer in hand that he’s playing over the floor, leading a red-furred kitten with big pointy ears and paws in an enthusiastic scampering over the level grey carpeting. The door opens, and he looks up with a smile, moving to push himself to his feet and shutting off the laser pointer (to the startlement of the kitten), “Barbara, it’s been too long,” he greets warmly, “And Niki, always a pleasure. Come in, have a seat, make yourself comfortable. I’d offer you coffee but Warren sent us some sort of robotic coffee machine that terrifies me.”

The greeting that Richard gives Barbara should be met with a smile and a laugh, but the mention of a robotic coffee machine is what grabs her attention before anything else, so instead what he gets is a deep sigh. "Of course," she offers with a wry smile. "The one thing I would ask for." Meant as a joke, of course. "Is this something happens often, Richard? Should I have come here instead of Yamagato?" Again, a joke… maybe.

Still, she seems in a pleasant enough spirit, a smirk offered to her sister before she pulls out a chair and seats herself. "Thank you for agreeing to meet with me. I have…something important I need to speak with you about." An apologetic look is offered over to Niki. "Important enough that Niki is about one of the only two people I'd trust to be here to hear it." Not that she even knows if Niki is terribly familiar with the subject at hand, but…

"And besides, it /has been too long," she offers back with a chuckle. "I believe I have some long overdue thanks I- we owe you, if nothing else."

Barbara notes the coffee maker and Niki notes the kitten. “Oh, look at that! He’s darling.” While Barbara takes her seat, her sister crouches down and calls the kitten to her with a quick click of her tongue against the back of her teeth. “C’mere, little guy.”

The conversation turns serious quickly enough, though, and Niki’s time to play is cut (willingly) short. One last tap on Richelieu's little nose and she’s to her feet and grabbing a chair next to her sister’s. She knew there was business, but wasn’t sure what to prepare for. It’s probably telling that she’s dressed in her scrapping clothes. Dressed for a scrap. Though she did at least pull a clean button-down on over her tank top. Gotta look somewhat respectable, even if her jeans show wear and tear, dirt and dust.

She’s ready to go handle business if Richard calls for it. Some instincts don’t change.

Richelieu’s attention is swiftly gained with the departure of the evil red dot, the kitten romping happily over to rub all over Niki’s hands and spread his scent everywhere, as cats are wont to do.

“That’s Richelieu,” Richard offers over to Niki, a grin tugging up at the corner of his lips as he names the feline and watches them play for a moment, and then he returns his attention back over to Barbara. He eases back into his chair, chuckling, “You have no idea. We have a crate in storage labeled ‘Velociraptor Secretary’ that we’re too afraid to open,” he quips. He’s probably kidding.

Unless you’ve ever met Warren, then you know he’s not.

“Alright, well you have my full attention,” he says, brows lifting as he looks to Barbara, “And I don’t think you owe me any thanks— shoot, what’s going on?

Unlike her sister, Barbara is dressed for the visit - as she often is these days, having traded her jeans, tanks, and baseball caps for suits and sunglasses. While Niki is engrossed in the cat, Barbara can't help but chuckle. "You know they have them in stores and shelters, right, Niki?" is a jab at her sister, a playful one. "He is cute though. I never took you for the cat type, Richard. More the german shepard kind of person."

Looking up from the cat and more directly at Richard, she doesn't waste any time in getting to - well, one of the points. "We do, but- later." With that insistence, she sits a bit straighter in her chair, and her expression goes from one of playful amusement to thoughtful wariness -visibly so, she wears her lingering uncertainty about this topic on her sleeve a bit.

"What I have for you needs to stay in this room," she offers, "until I can finish getting everything cleared through… more proper channels." A pointed look is given over to Niki as well, this also applies to her. "So any surveillance you may have active in the room - well, I'm not going to ask you turn it off, that's idiotic. But be mindful."

With that, Barbara closes her eyes and draws in a deep breath. "We have a mutual… what I would've considered friend. One…" Eyes open, and she looks Richard straight on. "Who is not as dead as we once thought, it may seem." Her fingers lace as her hands settle into her lap. "Eileen Ruskin walks among the living again, Richard. And she'd like to speak with you, privately."

“Oh, hush,” Niki rolls her eyes at Barbara’s teasing. They may have found each other later in life, but they are definitely sisters. It’d be obvious even if they weren’t identical.

She’s relaxed in her posture, lifting her brows when her sister shoots her that look. Of course she can keep a secret. The notion that she might not is silly, to her, but she still understands the need for emphasis.

Especially once the reason is revealed. “Didn’t she—” They’d exchanged stories, of course. There’s a reason why the two had holed up in Vegas to pretend like New York never happened. Niki shakes her head and sighs heavily. “You’re a popular guy, Rich.”

“Ingrid Ryans literally threw her at me and then left,” Richard observes in wry tones, “And he’s been growing on me ever since.” The kitten in question rubs against Niki’s ankles as the meeting goes on, trying in that kittenish way to get more attention.

“As far as surveillance is concerned, Alia keeps the surveillance in this room on a static loop of me being boring as hell unless I tell her otherwise, so there’s no need to worry there,” he says with a slight shake of his head, hands spreading a little, “I can keep a secret, Barbara. It’s rather what I do, after all."

If there's one thing they know about Richard Ray, it's that the man is a veritable cornucopia of secrets.

"Mysterious resurrections seem popular these days," he mutters, leaning back, "Eileen Ruskin. Well. Nick'll be thrilled. That's a hell of a thing, given the reports I got from the end of Pollepel… they say the birds will still kill anyone who comes near the place. Haunted by her ghost. I guess they were wrong." He brings a hand up, scratching at his chin, "Did she say what she wanted?"

He also has an excellent poker face.

A smirk over to Niki, “Too popular if you ask me. Some days I think I should just cancel all my meetings and go bar-hopping.”

"Nick is…" A bit of a sore subject, given what was Eileen's final request and how Barbara instead ran off to hide out with her mother- "the next person I plan to visit on her behalf." One finger taps against the back of her other hand. "It's been a while since I just went out for a night," she offers with a small smile. "If you do, let me know." She'll make sure it's not a meeting at least.

The smile fades quickly. "I've been trying to get affairs in order so that she can… rejoin society. She game to Yamagato," she notes with a particular emphasis. "Because I'm sure you remember how the trial went for her and her name." The tone in Barbara's voice makes it clear she still doesn't agree with the vilification that was levied at Eileen postmortem. "In the meantime, she's also asked me to set up meetings with you and Nick, I assume for private matters."

Her head tilts slightly to the side, a hand moving to brush away the dyed red hair that falls over her eyes. "If I'm going to be honest, I'm wary. She seems to be Eileen, in the way she acts and presents herself. The room she has, it's- very much what little I saw of her personal effects and life. But…" She purses her lips, moving her chair a bit closer before she reaches up and taps a finger on the table. "Her memory is spotty, Richard. She remembers Pollepel, but not me." She leans back, crossing her arms. "There's the matter of the fact she woke up in Cambridge too. A far cry from Pollepel to be sure."

Her gaze slowly lowers, eyes going half lidded as she continues. "I considered - and still consider - Eileen my friend. Pollepel was a hell on earth in those last few days. She didn't deserve what she got. I want this to be what it seems." It's not the first time someone has come back into her life from the dead.

“That’s how I feel sometimes. Maybe we’ll pick a day to skip out and you can drink for both of us. Should be good entertainment for me,” Niki teases Richard, bending to scratch at the neck of the cat circling her ankles. Maybe if she were home more often, she’d get one for herself.

Talk of Eileen has the blonde frowning. She understands why her twin wants this miraculous resurrection to be true, but she’s too pessimistic for that sort of hope. Straightening up, she exchanges a look with Richard, vaguely concerned.

“Cambridge is a hell of a place to wake up all of a sudden,” Niki murmurs. “How the hell does something like that happen?” She shakes her head, frowning again. “I don’t like it, Barbara. But I know I don’t have to tell you to be careful.”

"I'm up for it," Richard challenges back to her teasing, before shaking his head at Barbara's words. He holds up a hand, suggesting, "Hold off on telling Nick, until we're… absolutely sure that it's her, that it isn't a trick. If it's not, and we tell him it is…" He wrinkles his nose, "That'd be cruel to do to him."

He nods a little, smiling ever so faintly as he gives in maybe a little too easily despite Niki's clear concern, "I'll meet with her, at Yamagato. Indoors, preferably, I've had a few too many assassination attempts happening over here lately to be entirely comfortable outdoors - I'm sure you have some lovely conference rooms over there."

"I promise," he adds, his tone confident, "I can tell you if it's her or not if I meet with her."

Barbara frowns a bit as both of them speak up, but she nods in understanding. "I don't like it either. I want it to be what it seems like, but…" She shakes her head lets out a long breath. "This doesn't just happen. Not after this long. Not without good reason." She looks up at Richard, letting a grin slip on to her face. "Like finding out that your mother had to lay low after a good samaritan saved her, that's a good reason." Yep, she' just slipping that out there.

"But Eileen… unfortunately, I don't think she would be so lucky. And to wake up at the former Arcology site… I wasn't there, but I here that place was hell before and after it collapsed on itself." She huffs out a breath. "If you're confident you can figure it out, Richard, by all means. But I won't hold off on telling Nick long." This is something she's sure they won't agree on. "If it isn't Eileen, he should be prepared for that eventuality. Not left in the dark." Even if it means having to keep him safe from his own "sister".

Her eyes close, and she visibly relaxes. "I just hope it doesn't come to that."

“If it were me,” Niki interjects, “I’d want to know. Even if the odds were good that it wasn’t my sister.” The idea of keeping Nick in the dark makes her uneasy. Everyone lost someone that November 8, and even if this is a cruel trick, he deserves to make that call himself.

“How do you propose to know it’s Ruskin for sure?” Niki’s brows furrow, concerned. If she isn’t who she says she is, then she’s likely dangerous, and she doesn’t like the idea of Richard meeting her alone. She doesn’t like the idea that her sister’s spending time with this possible impostor either, but only one of these does she feel will actually listen to her if she scowls hard enough. Hint: It’s the one that isn’t like a mirror.

“I wouldn’t want to keep Nick in the dark for long, no, that’d be— fucked up, I agree,” RIchard says with a little shake of his head, “Just until I meet with her. You mentioned she has holes in her memory, so if she is an impostor - she could be working off interviews, known information, people they tortured for knowledge even. These days, the Ferrymen are famous, a lot of that information is even publicly available. There are things that nobody else would - could - have known that I can ask her about.”

He catches that look from Niki, and he spreads his hands, “And it’ll be safe. I mean, if we meet in Yamagato, what is she going to do, murder me in a conference room and then walk out past all the security?” He grins to Niki, and it’s the old grin, from when he wore a different name and the sign on his office read something different as well.

“Trust me.”

"I wasn't at the trials. I know, naturally, I came up during them," and Barbara's Ferry connections are generally public knowledge these days despite her government employment. "Eileen didn't know me. She seemed to remember Pollepel. She has researched what has happened since. She… knows what her fate was." Barbara looks nonplussed, looking down a bit. "The information is inconsistent. Worrying. But…" Barbara closes her eyes.

"It's her, or an undeniably well put together facsimile. Which means…" She shakes her head, offering Richard a flat look. "If you think Eileen couldn't find a way to hurt you at Yamagato without being found out, then I don't think you knew the Eileen Ruskin I did." She looks off to the side, taking a deep breath. "But I don't think that's what it'll come to. You have a week, Richard. At best, if she's interviewing people, Nick should know what to be prepared for before she decides to circumvent me entirely."

Trust me earns a raised brow from Niki Zimmerman. They’ve been down this road before. “Just… I know you’ll be smart, but be smart anyway.” Trepidation’s never been a good look on the blonde, but she doesn’t shy away from broadcasting her feelings. Not in this company anyway.

If anything’s happened over the last few years, it’s that Niki’s learned how to be more honest with the people she cares about. “Don’t make me have to kick your ass for doing something stupid.” That’s presuming there’s anything left of him to kick after Ruskin gets done with him, if she decides to attack. If he wins that fight, she’s not sure what Yamagato might do. “How the hell did she get mixed up with Yamagato anyway? What do they gain from helping her?”

Maybe that’s telling that she still expects Yamagato to operate like Linderman did. No good deed without some kind of payoff.

“Get me that meeting before the week’s over and it won’t even need to be that long,” Richard promises, shaking his head slightly, “It might still be her— resurrection is probably rather hard on the psyche, could leave holes… but, still. We’ll get it sorted. Or, if I’m wrong, I’ll be pecked to death by crows.”

A pause, “Make sure the meeting’s inside, please. There are less crows inside.”

He leans back again in his chair, chuckling at Niki’s threat, “Aww. You do care… you also bring up a great point. Barbara, what is Yamagato getting out of this? I mean, they’re a great company, we have a great relationship, but they are a company, not a charity.”

Barbara gives a small, casual shrug. "Your guess is as good as mine." She looks over at Niki, lips pressed thin. "Could be anything from under the table favours to the promise of good press once Eileen's name is cleared." She looks back at Richard, fingers tapping against her leg. "I know at least one reason Eileen came to Yamagato is because Yamagato Park isn't considered US soil." She leaves that there, with all it implies. "As far as I'm aware, the former Ferry doesn't have the presence at Yamagato we do elsewhere. To the best of my knowledge, in the Park, it's just myself and Elaine Darrow. And to be honest, I'm not sure how public her ties were in the long run, so I don't think anyone's motivation ties back to that."

"I'll talk to Eileen. I'll see about setting up a meeting in the Fellowship. If you pass the new security measures, it's the most open place… and indoors, though with those high ceilings I'd wager there's still some birds." She smirks at that. "This is also Eileen. She had already tamed a- hummingbird I think it was, when I last saw her. I'm sure it isn't the last."

You do care earns a single finger salute from Niki across the desk, though she’s grinning as she does. That’s one bird he’s safe around at least. Unless it starts glowing. Fortunately for all involved, Niki’s got much better control of the way her ability responds to her emotions these days.

“I guess if I was running from something, I’d want to be somewhere that an extradition request’s required to get me out of. Those things take some time.” She did some reading during the war. Not much else to do some days.

Richard grins right back at Niki, a warm honesty to the expression before he returns to ‘business face’ for the matter at hand. “Good. Good,” he nods a little, “Get the meeting set up and I’ll be there — and given that our companies are working pretty closely, I imagine I’ll have little trouble passing a security check. I think it’d be a bit of a faux pas not letting me in…”

He pauses, then, “Aside from that— was there anything else official you needed, Barbara? I have something more— personal for the two of you once we’re done with that.”

"You might be surprised, after the bombing," Barbara replies flatly. "No exceptions, unless you're a Yamagato employee, was the impression I had." She offers a small shrug. "My business to day is, well… all personal," she admits with a small laugh. "Which isn't something I get to indulge in much anymore, I have to admit, but…" She quirks an eyebrow, a taciturn expression of you know - and she expects Richard does.

"I admit, I was curious why you had me bring Niki along." She looks over at her sister and grins. "Though it's a good excuse for us to spend a day together." The implication being that they don't get to much these days."Eileen may be staying at Yamagato, but that is certainly not official on any level."

Niki shrugs to the notion of why she was brought along. She’ll take the excuse to spend a day with her sister and visit an old friend. “I can’t imagine anyone wants that broadcast much,” she says of Eileen’s residence at Yamagato.

“Please, Richard, go ahead. I’m dying to know why you had to have me along for this.” She plucks at the badge stuck to the strap of her tank top. “Giving me all the fancy accessories to wear. What’s the occasion?”

“Understood,” Richard nods a little to Barbara, “I’ll happily go through a security check, of course, As for the other business…”

He draws in a slow breath, and then pushes himself to his feet, adjusting his suit jacket and walking over to the window. One hand reaches up, sliding down a panel beside it, and as he does the ‘glass’ darkens and becomes opaque.

The room’s indirect lighting brightens accordingly.

“Time,” he says, hands clasping behind his back as he turns towards the two - nearly identical - women, “Is not a line.”

A wry smile, “Edward was always good at summing up amazingly complex ideas in just a few words, and then never explaining them. Sorry, I’m going to go into ‘lecturer Richard’ here for just a minute, my apologies, I had to learn this to be a CEO.”

Clearing his throat, “So. Every major decision creates a parallel timeline, essentially. There is a place where Phoenix failed and the virus spread. There’s a place where Operation Apollo failed, and the world was drowned. A place where Arthur took over the world. So on— “ A vague motion of his hand, “— so forth.”

“I recently found out that my biological mother, before she died, invented a way of looking into them.” He pauses, “The Company panicked and moved in, she ran into the street, got run over by a car.”

“Anyway,” he waves that off, “That’s why Ezekiel’s dumb-ass plan never worked, and never would’ve worked. He just created another timeline with his ‘message to the past’ bullshit. Normally this would just be an academic thing that mathematicians jerk off to, but practically…”

“Brian and Gillian’s kids, from the Lighthouse? They found a video tape from one of these other timelines. The virus timeline, I think.”

Barbara's expression is flat as she stares at Richard, before looking over at Niki. "So, we're leaving, right?" Yes, Barbara is still capable of jokes. At least at first. When Richard mentions a tape, she freezes. Slowly she looks back towards Richard, and narrows her eyes. "I've heard about this tape," she states in a much more guarded tone. "They brought me the camcorder it was in. Whatever you think it is? It isn't."

She narrows her eyes, a much more serious coutanance on her face as she regards Richard cooly. "It's Company. The camcorder, at least. And I don't know what was happening in what I saw, but I promise you it's nothing good."

Niki’s expression actually goes sour as she listens to Richard speak. It’s only because of her respect for him that she doesn’t interrupt. Or worse, get up and walk out. “More time travel bullshit? We talked about this, Rich.” Niki got out of this game years ago. It’s already cost her so much.

And yet, there’s a hope that stirs in her, faintly. If there’s a way to see into another reality… If there’s a way to find Micah

No. This is the kind of thinking that gets her into trouble every time. “So what does that mean? What do you want us to do about it?” She doesn’t disguise her contempt for whatever this idea of his might be. Niki’s just too weary. And wary.

“I don’t care about the camcorder, Barbara,” says Richard with a shake of his head, “And I’m not— I’m not dealing with time travel, either. Admittedly there’s already four assholes from another reality running around causing trouble, but that’s neither here nor there. No. The tape is what’s important.”

He thrusts a finger at Barbara, “And it’s backed up by two precognitives and Edward’s final instructions, before you tell me it’s fake.”

A deep breath’s drawn in, “The tape was of an experimental attempt to breach the borders between worlds. It wasn’t from ours— given what I saw, I’m assuming it’s the superstring where Kazimir released the virus successfully. It was successful enough to drop the camcorder into our world, at least. But… there were two people that weren’t from that reality.”

Hazel eyes slide to the woman of the pair he’s most familiar with, and he says more quietly, “Ezekiel aimed his time machine at the singularity that Magnes created, that Elisabeth jumped into. They survived. They just weren’t in this world when they landed.”

Barbara crosses her arms when a finger is thrust her way. "Oh, is it? I'm curious, then, how precognatives are seeing things from other worlds." She takes a deep breath. "I know what's on the tape. I was given the briefing by Gillian Childs." She shakes her head. "I'm sorry. I know what I saw, and well- you can't have that tape with a camcorder."

Barbara sits back up, staring at Richard. "Let this go, Richard, until I can speak to some people. Focus on Eileen. I'll focus on this. And then?" She spreads her hands out in front of her. "We can get back together on both those matters." There's a definitive tone to her voice, as if that's that.

As Richard speaks, Niki sort of deflates. This isn’t what she wants to hear. She doesn’t want to get caught up in another scheme. She doesn’t want Richard to for that matter. But it’s his last words that change that and get her attention.

An arm is stretched out not quite unlike the protective mother in the car putting an arm in front of her child when she hits the brakes. In this case, she’s calling for quiet and calm. “Elisabeth? She’s alive?” That is about the only shred of information she’s got a stake in right now.

“Let this… you want me to let this/go? You don’t even know— “ Richard cuts himself off, then, frustration clear in his expression as he steps back and drop into his chair, leaning back with a creak of leather and metal. One hand comes up to rub over his face, thumb pressing against the bridge of his nose. “Nevermind, Barbara. Yeah. I’ll focus on the— I’ll focus on Eileen. Just set that meeting up for me.”

He doesn’t look back up as he replies quietly, his voice strained and tired suddenly, “Yes, she’s alive. Washed up on the shores of the never-was, following my mother’s road home.”

“If Edward and Eve’s combined predictions are to be believed,” he adds, still quiet, “We’ll see her again on Christmas.”

"For now," Barbara reiterates. "I.., I have someone I should talk to about this, before we dig any deeper. I'm worried about what we're getting into. So let's trade this time. You figure out Eileen. I can't. I…" She wants it to be her too bad. She pauses, taking a deep breath. "I can't trust myself to be objective with her."

She draws her hands back into her lap, looking over at Niki and nodding. "If it is Elisabeth… I would rather see if I can find out what we're getting into better. Because anything that involves the Company is bad news, and I don't know how this does." She looks down at the desk, shaking her head. "And honestly, that terrifies me in the way I promised I wouldn't let The Company do to me any more."

Eyes slowly move back up to Richard, and then over to Niki. "I would like Elisabeth and Magnes to be alive too. But let's not rush into either of situations." The irony of this, after saying she wasn't waiting for Richard before she talked to Nick, is lost on her.

Niki frowns. “She’s right. None of us is served by running into this.” Her own hands retreat to fold in her lap for lack of something else to do with herself. “You have my support, Richard. One-hundred percent. God… Christmas?” She shakes her head slowly. “That seems unreal.”

With a heavy exhale, she turns to her sister again. “And if there’s anything I can do to help you, let me know. I don’t want you putting yourself at risk.” A quick warning glance flashed to Richard. “Either of you.”

“Then maybe,” Richard suggests in brittle tones, gaze flickering up to settle on Barbara, “You should talk to Sabra about it.”

He manages a faint smile over to Niki, his hand falling back to rest on the table. “Thank you,” he says softly, drawing in a breath, “Alright, set up the meeting with Eileen and I’ll handle that. I also have a personal request. I need to speak with your mother, as soon as possible.”

A brief pause, and he says, “If she’s too busy to meet with me, tell her to remember February fourteenth, nineteen-ninety-two before making that decision. I have a favor to call in.”

Barbara stares at Richard in silence for a moment. "If I hadn't already brought it up," she says in a low voice, "I'd think you did that on purpose. She's not the only one that date has meaning to." Barbara certainly can't forget it, even if she wanted to. Her mood makes a visible shift towards something more solemn, looking off to the side.

"I have someone to speak with first. Someone I have quite a few questions for," but that she clearly isn't naming, "and then I'll reach out to my mother. See if she can set something up for- us. If you want." She shifts in her seat, looking over at Niki, then back at Richard. "Thank you," she says after a moment. "For what you did for our mother."

Niki rises from her seat and gestures toward the door. “Come on, Barb. Let’s go.” Before the tension in this room gets much worse. An apologetic glance aimed back at Richard. Everyone’s rightfully got their touchy subjects, and they’re supposed to be friends here. Defusing this situation is in everyone’s best interests.

“Let me know how things turn out,” Niki tells him. Or if you need backup goes unspoken.

“I didn’t do it for your mother,” Richard says with a slight shake of his head, looking at the pair as they prepare to depart, “I did it for you two, and I did it for Niklaus.”

A slow breath is drawn into his lungs, exhaled, and he nods slightly, “Let me know how those arrangements turn out too. It was— good seeing you two.” A faint, rueful smile at that, “Talk to you both when I do.”

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