New World, New Life


lynette_icon.gif mateo3_icon.gif robyn_icon.gif

Scene Title New World, New Life
Synopsis Robyn drops in on an old friend.
Date April 20, 2018

The Benchmark Center

Benchmark was not typically the kind of place Robyn Quinn ever wanted to be visiting - the implications of it always made her nervous, mad eher anxiety spike to uncomfortable levels. At least, that's how it would be if she was visiting the clinic under what would be considered "normal" circumstances for such a place. Thankfully, that's not the case today. Instead, Robyn has come with a much more wholesome intent.

She's even made sure to leave any and all flasks she might have otherwise been carrying on her person elsewhere for the day. Because she's responsible and self aware sometimes, at least.

She'd been meaning to do this for weeks now, ever since she had received that… unusual phone call from Eve Mas. Which is to say, a phone call from Eve. And just like so many other times, Eve was a catalyst for the unexpected. And just like so many other people, Robyn had lost track of someone she once considered a wonderful and close friend in the years after the war, distancing herself from the hardship of the years past by throwing herself into her work for SESA.

So today, she's decided, is dedicated to catching up with one Lynette Rowan. She's already notified staff that she's here to see the owner, increasingly glad she was smart enough not to bring her indulgence of choice with her. Instead she waits in silence in the lobby, hands folded into lap as she stares ahead, the smile on her face betraying the thoughts that she doesn't otherwise let play out as she sits.

The owner is never far, it seems, because Robyn doesn't have too long to wait before Lynette comes down the hallway. She has company with her in the form of a short, dark, and handsome man. Perhaps because it is toward the end of the day and sometimes Lynette needs to be reminded to leave her office.

Of course, her receptionist has given her a reason to leave it today, with the arrival of her visitor. The woman is all smiles when she comes into the lobby and wider still when she sees Robyn there. "Robyn Quinn," she says, a hand coming to her hip, "you never call, you never write." Given that she comes over a moment later to hug her, well. She's not actually mad.

And has obviously changed quite a bit since the last time they spent time together. Quite a bit. Maybe more than her new occupation would imply. "How the hell are you?"

Change is a thing evident in the both of them, evident in Robyn's black, frilly clothes - fashionable, potentially able to toe the line of professional, but marked with bits of lace and ruffles - and pulled over her eye is the band that has become the distinctive feature of her modern appearance, also partially covering up the scar that Lynette has seen many times before.

As she sees Lynette, Robyn raises to her feet, hands still folded in front of her. Her expression is stern, flat. Impenetrable in the moments Lynette strides towards her. "Been busy," she states simply - a solemn truth, at least, both understated and exaggerated. And then the hug comes.

And that's when that grim facade breaks, wide smile forming as lips curl upwards, arms moving to wrap around her friend. "Really, though. Been busy. Chase bad guys, watch good guys for a living. Keeps you on the go." As she moves back from the hug, she keeps gloved hands on Lynette's shoulders, grinning as she looks her in the eyes.

"Getting by. Split time between here and Rochester these days. Didn't know much about this place until recently." Thanks, Eve - a legitimate thanks Robyn had been forgetting to pass on to her erstwhile friend. "Didn't know it was yours. Might've stopped in before now." A glance past Lynette, to the man that arrived with her. Not much mind paid to him, besides a raised eyebrow and a smile offered his way.

"I believe it. You went all legitimate on me." Of course, Lynette also looks like a ~professional~ so she's one to talk. The days of terrorism barely show anymore. "It's so good to see you." And by her smile, she means it. She waves off the concern about not dropping in earlier. "The Center was here before I was. I mean, it's mine, but it was ready before I came back from Mexico. Still working on getting the word out. Slowly, but surely."

When Robyn's attention moves past her, Lynette turns to look that way, too. The smile on her face takes on a dreamy quality— a foreign expression from this woman. She was always a person of smirks and sarcasm, when she wasn't distancing herself entirely. Any emotion she might have carried at the time was buried deep below armor made up of cleverness. But not here, not looking at him. "Mateo," she says, gesturing him over, "let me introduce you." He's had to go through this a lot lately. Poor soul. "Robyn, this is Mateo. The unfortunate man who agreed to marry me before he realized what he was getting into." Yep. "Darling, this is Robyn. A friend from Ferrymen days. Fellow musician. And a good one, too."

A wild Mateo had been distracted by something or another, which could have been anything from one of those poems from his other self that he’s running through his head trying to figure out, or the ever constant sound in his head, which seems to have taken on city sounds more than it had before— as if his physical proximity to a larger city has made that happen. It sounds more and more like the scrapping of metal, of footsteps on wet pavement, of the grinding of gears.

But then his name is said and he’s immediately more attentive and offers Lynette a soft smile that is expressed by both his lips and his eyes. “I consider myself the man fortunate enough to be asked that question in the first place, personally,” he responds with hint of a eyebrow quirk and reaches to offer Robyn his hand for a shake. “A musician? Me too. Not professionally, but I dabble.”

Dabble, he says. “You have a album, right— it’s one of the few that Lynette has that isn’t from the 40s.” Which is one of the reasons it stood out to him. Now that he’s looking at her and hearing the name and making the association with music. It would make sense that Lynette would have an album released by one of her friends from the Ferry along with the ones she tends to play often.

Robyn reflexively blinks. Husband. That certainly seems to have caught her off guard, but maybe it's because so few of her friends have managed to find romantic entanglements these days. She gives a bright smile to Lynette, an amused laugh, and a nod of her head as she gives Mateo an up-and-down. "Well. Made the right decision, at least," she remarks with a hint of a tease as she moves to take Mateo's hand. Her shake is perhaps a bit firmer than expected, but nothing too unlady like.

She never clarifies which of them made the right choice, if she means anything besides both of them.

"Bonjour," she offers to Mateo in a more formal manner, bowing her head slightly to him. The mention of music, her album, makes her a little flustered, though - vocally and visibly. "Ah, um." Eyes flick between the two of them, then off to the side. "Don't play anymore. Lost the spark during the war." A weak smile is offered to them. "Glad you like it that much, Lynette. Still have a few vinyls, if you want one."

And then back to Mateo. "If you ever want to do something, I've got friends in Rochester. Red Booth Recording. Good folks." Not that she gets the impression he does. She distracts herself by looking around again, her smile sliding back to something more genuine. "Dare say you've done well here, Lynette." She keeps the thought that it's quite the turnaround to herself.

The retort gets a grin and a chuckle as Lynette shakes her head at him. But it's clear she thinks she made the right choice, too.

"That album is very special," Lynette notes, as if she misses Robyn's reaction entirely, "I went to the launch party and everything." She was wanted at the time and got chased out by Frontline agents, but she leaves that part out. Instead, she looks over at Robyn again. "Are you kidding? Of course I want one." She reaches a hand over to give Robyn's arm a squeeze. "If you ever get the spark back, you let me know."

When she looks back to Mateo, her eyebrow lifts, because she doesn't consider him dabbling, just like she doesn't seem to accept the notion that Robyn is truly done with music.

"Thank you," she ends up saying, turning back to Robyn with a softer smile, "It was a process, but I'm glad we finally got here. You wouldn't believe the hoops— Well, maybe you would, considering. SESA must attempt to drown you in paperwork now and then." Oddly, though, she seems almost like she enjoyed the process, for all that she frames it like a complaint. "By the way— not that I assume you'll ever need it— but the top floor is reserved for friends. Like a miniature Gun Hill." A safehouse, that is.

“I’m not really interested in recording, but I will keep the offer in mind,” Mateo responds with a small smile, but for a moment there’s this thoughtful twinge in his brow, as if he might actually be questioning something, or thinking about it at least. Not it’s not for now. “We have a piano and I have a guitar. If you ever just want to unwind, we can always give Lynette and Silvia a private concert— Silvia’s our daughter.”

His officially, though not biologically, hers by adoption. It’s a thing. There’s no sign of babies around here at the least. The lobby and the Benchmark geared more towards adults, but that didn’t mean some special few young people haven’t taken up residence for various reasons.

“She has done well. She should be very proud about this place.” That’s the most indirect way of saying how proud he is of his beautiful wife, but he doesn’t even need to say that cause he looks it every time he glances at her.

Even if recently one of their residents apparently might have been a terrible person the whole time—

"The top floor? Of the Recovery center?" Robyn looks momentarily unamused. "What are you trying to say, Lynette?" Any incredulity fades after a moment, though, as Robyn shakes her head. "Thank you. I'll keep that in mind. Live in Rochester now, though I still keep a place in town with Dirk."

She turns a bit, looking around the lobby for a moment before turning back to Lynette and Mateo. "Bit of an understatement." That she should be proud. Her smile turns into a bit more of a grin, and she nods. "We all find our own ways to keep making a difference. It's nice to talk to someone who doesn't interrogate me about my decision to… go legit." A chuckle. "Unless that's what comes next, in which case…" She pauses, considering her next choice of words. It seems better to trail off there than to joke about going to get her flask.

"A daughter, though…" Robyn's smile becomes softer, fonder. "C'est magnifique. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little jealous." She doesn't match up Silvia with the name of a girl she met in a bar, at least. That would be awkward. "I'm a bit in awe, Lynette. That you found the time. Congratulations."

"I'm saying that the top floor is not a recovery center," Lynette says with a wry look in Robyn's direction. There's a sort of knowing look, but she doesn't comment on the lady protesting too much. Nor does she comment on any of Robyn's roomates, chosen or chosen for her. Some thoughts are just better left unspoken.

She looks over at Mateo, shaking her head a little. "He says that as if he didn't help." But it's clear she is proud. Even if her bid to make a difference in the world is a little smaller these days. "And I had no plans to interrogate you, Robyn. It's different, but it's a good choice. Plus, having a friend there makes me feel a lot better about it, truly." Someone who can watch for signs that SESA is going the way the DoEA went.

Lynette laughs, a hand running through her hair. "No no, she's mostly grown already. I skipped out on the whole," she makes a circular gesture in the air, like she's not sure on the word she's after, "baby part." You know, that part. "But thank you. I feel very lucky to have them all the same." Her little family, that is.

Their daughter, but not by the had the baby sense— yeah. Mateo doesn’t say anything, but between his grin and the way he watches Lynette’s hand, there had been a flash of something across his face. Like maybe he would have liked for that to have happened. Somehow. “Her family threw her out when she manifested young. I had met her while initially helping the Ferry in Mexico, took her to a safehouse I knew about down there. Then ran into her years later at the Benchmark… We wanted to bring her with us— she was family too— so we claimed she was mine and Lynette adopted her.”

This woman might be a government agent and he’s telling her the true story which is different from the official one, but he trusts that Lynette’s friends wouldn’t say anything anyway— and he thinks some of the people who got them there figured out there had been forgery done for certain parts of his paperwork and Silvia’s. Like all of it, honestly.

Except the marriage part. That was real. And anyone who saw them together for more than a few minutes could see that.

"Not the same, but as meaningful," at least in Robyn's eyes. "Maybe more noble, even." After all, she had always considered adoption her go to if she ever found herself in a position to raise a child. Age? Not a concern. "Particularly in that situation. I'm glad you were there to pick her back up. Make her feel loved." She offers the both of the a wide smile.

"Well." Robyn lets out a little sigh, shaking her head. "Depending on who you ask, SESA isn't the… place you should be worried about relapsing." She quirks an eyebrow, stepping closer to the two. "Put me in charge of watching over Wolfhound. Waste of time, though. They're good folks." A small shrug follows, as she steps a bit past them.

"I didn't come out here to talk business though - for once." A small chuckle escapes her lips as she looks back at Lynette. "You said it yourself - it's been a long time." Another shallow nod, and she takes a deep breath. "Long enough that it's long past time to change that. I was hoping, if you had time, we could get lunch. Chat. Catch up. I… didn't anticipate dropping in so suddenly, but I was in the area anyway, so it seemed like as good a time as any." From the way she glances over to Ruiz and smiles, it's clear that invitation is open to him as well.

Lynette certainly doesn't seem to mind Robyn hearing the real story. It doesn't even seem to occur to her that she should. "Just as meaningful, yes." No comment on the nobility of it, probably because she doesn't see it that way. But she does love their daughter and she figures that's good enough.

Her eyebrows lift at the news of Robyn's assignment, clearly surprised. "Hana's people? As if she would let anyone go rogue. I'm glad they gave her an ally, though, if they feel like her Hounds need a watchful eye. How are they taking to you?" She smirks a little there, because exactly no one enjoys oversight like that.

"I would love to have lunch. And to catch up. And for the record, you can drop in any time the urge takes you. I'm almost always here," she says with a chuckle.

“Your friends just end up everywhere, don’t they?” Mateo responds with a grin, amused at the fact that he keeps meeting good personal friends of hers who have such powerful positions in this new government and society. As far as he’s concerned, so does she, running the Benchmark, but he knows she blows off her own contributions quite often.

“Do you want to have lunch here, or did you have somewhere in mind? The kitchen’s not bad, I’m still trying to teach Lynette to cook.” Still trying implies it hasn’t gone well. “But the cooks can put together something for us, if we ask.” Otherwise they could go out and find somewhere to sit down and pay for food out like people do.

As long as it’s not at a bar.

A bar would certainly be among the top of Robyn's choices - normally, with different company. But she knows better in this context, just like she knew better than t bring her flask with her on this trip. One of many things Robyn Quinn has learned in the last six years and change is how to better read a room, a situation and to judge wha's appropriate based on the information she receives, rather than just doing what she wants and trying to get other people to go along.

"Well," Robyn replies with a laugh, looking over to Mateo. "I don't know about everywhere. But it beats the other options I had." She grins, looking around again. "If you can get Lynette to cook, I feel like you're doing the world a greater good, and that's really all we can hope to do in life, isn' it?" She offers her friend a teasing smile.

"I certain didn't come here looking to make you all cook for me, as much as I'd like to see Lynette try." She teases, but it's only in the last two years that Robyn herself has really started learning how to cook with any success. "But eating here in the house you two built would be lovely."

"Well. My friends are very good," Lynette says, her smile widening. Every so often it hits her that things have turned out a lot better than she thought they would. Usually, it's in moments like this, standing near a friend out in public, upstanding citizens all around. It's a long way from the days they couldn't raise their heads without getting them shot off.

When he mentions teaching her to cook, Lynette groans and brings a hand to her face. "Don't get your hopes up, Robyn. I'm more likely to burn the kitchen down than make something edible. I was only ever good at coffee and martinis," she comments dryly. One of these skills is not as useful these days.

Robyn's last words, though, they get a warmer smile and she reaches over to put a hand on Robyn's back. "Well, this way, then. We always have something going in the kitchen. A lot of people here to feed. Maybe Mateo will play us something," she looks over at him, her smile a little hopeful. Let her show you off, Mateo.

“The house she built. I just made sure the wiring wouldn’t burn it all down,” Mateo responds with a knowing grin at his wife, always willing to put everything that they have together as an achievement of hers rather than him. The Benchmark had been hers long before they’d met, so it was not farfetched, really. Even if they arrived at this one at around the same time.

With a nod, he motions in the direction of the kitchen, leading the way there rather than waiting to see if they will make the way there on their own. “And I can play while we eat,” he responds to his wife, knowing that she both just wants to hear him and also wants to show him off to a musically inclined friend.

A friend who already made a hint that she could get him studio time if needed, and how better to help pad that than actually performing something so she would know who she is vouching for. “Do you have any particular requests, mi vida?”

"Don't know about very good," Robyn remarks, looking over at Lynette as they start towards food. "Above average, maybe." She rolls her shoulders a bit. "Mostly ended up at SESA because it felt like the best way to keep making a difference." Her smile widens even more, almost looking cartoonish at this point. "We all find wonderful ways of continuing to make a difference, us and all our friends." Her, Lynette, and so many others.

"Lynette," some with a bit more chiding tone, though clearly not serious from the exaggerated scowl on Robyn's face. "Even I learned how to cook. Used to say the same thing. Now I eat more than frozen pizzas and take away." And really, that's done wonders for her, even if she still doesn't always eat great.

But when she looks to Mateo, it's with a genuine sense of appreciation. "I would love that, if you played," she remarks, nodding shallowly. Just because she doesn't play anymore, doesn't mean she doesn't appreciate it when others do. "But, I disagree. You're here, you support Lynette." A look between the two of them, and a bit of a quiet laugh. "Seems quite taken with you, Mateo. If I had to guess, both built a lot here."

But, as touching as heartfelt as that is, her smile turns to a smirk, and she leans over to him. "There's money for you if you play Wonderwall," she offers teasingly.

Lynette shakes her head as Mateo puts the credit on her. A look is leveled at Robyn, just so she knows that Lynette doesn't agree with that particular statement. But when he agrees to play, her smile returns. Maybe a little wider. Little brighter. This is the kind of thing she never would have let show in the old days. If she felt it at all, it would be covered by a smirk or a dry comment.

"You know my favorite song," she says to Mateo's question. And it's true, when it comes to requests, there is one song she starts with every time, without fail. "But you know I like anything you play." Anything. Everything.

Her attention turns back to Robyn, though, chuckling at her correction. "Alright, above average, then. And you are making a difference." She might feel a little pride in that, even.

She gives Robyn a sidelong glance at her chiding, but her reply is to spread her hands, as if she were helpless to get any better at anything involving a kitchen.

The notion that she might be taken with him gets a laugh of her own. Not because it's laughable, but because it's true. Not that she confirms it. But she doesn't deny it, either.

When the agent makes an actual request, Mateo grins and nods. “I think I can do that.” And yes, yes, wife, he knows your favorite song. Both of those songs will very likely be played, while they make and eat the lunch. “And I can add a few more songs to that, as well. Cause I like playing anything at all for you.”

Anything and everything. And he also doesn’t mind her showing him off to her musically inclined friend, either.

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