So Not Star Wars


delia_icon.gif russo_icon.gif ryans3_icon.gif

Scene Title So Not Star Wars
Synopsis When asking God what he wants, does anyone ever really get an answer? Bradley Russo did.
Date November 1, 2010

A Little Park Across from A Church

The park in front of the church is quiet. Most birds and New Yorkers alike are hiding from the cool weather as it Jack Frost nips at noses, fingers, toes, and ears. It's not the coldest of the cold, and nowhere as bad as the deep freeze had been, but it's chilly; only the truly brave and bundled (or undeniably stupid without feeling in their outer extremities already?) retreat to the outdoors to merely sit.

Purpose doesn't come easily for one Bradley Russo, even as he reflects on the way the world is and the way he believes it should be. At least he had the good sense to bundle up today. A thick wool black 1950's military-style peacoat lines his form and black leather gloves protect his hands from the worst of the Jack's nips. A blue and white scarf ties comfortably around his neck as he stares out at the horizon. The bench on which he leans was freezing at his first touch, but he's been here awhile; alone in the silence, letting nothing but his thoughts and ghosts of Christmases past haunt him.

The sun peeks out from behind a fall cloud, bringing a sunbeam to alight his face, albeit somewhat temporarily. His eyes draw shut like one might draw blinds shut at such blinding light. On the bench next to him is the unopened bottle of whiskey in a brown bag— a kind of outfit to conceal its true identity and intent. But for most people it's too early in the day to drink. Ironically, Brad had bought it after sitting in an AA meeting. He hadn't had the nerve to stand and talk, lest they think him crazy. He feels crazy. Especially now.

That's probably why he'd sent her the flowers. Kristen deserved the apology and more. But then such is the life of the addicted; always apologizing for something. Uncomfortably, the host runs his gloved fingers through his hair, the smile that plays his face more grim than actually joyous or merry. The brown bag is plucked from beside him, a proverbial yielding to his more base desires. The sun hides behind a cloud only to peek out again, this time behind one of the many crosses that line the area, producing a large shadow across the grass in front of Russo. He frowns before lifting his chin to peer into the sky, "What the hell do you want from me?"

When did winter gear become a luxury? Faced with the necessity of buying, Delia spent an entire day scouring thrift shops and second hand stores for something that she could afford with the last of her winnings. She'd managed to make the money stretch out for almost a month, almost. It offended her sensibilities to have to ask for charity, even though she was told over and over again that the Ferrymen were there to take care of her, she couldn't bring herself to do it.

At the last shop, she managed to find the perfect coat; a warm and functional burberry shearling, with only a few minor stains. She wore it out of the store and carried her hoodie in a small plastic bag. Had she thought ahead, she might have knit herself a scarf, hat, and mittens, her usual staple for the winter but she didn't think. She rarely does anymore, not about the basic things.

It was that need, to think about basic necessities, that brought her to a bench in the park near the church she used to go to every Sunday. She didn't notice the man that sat in the other bench, at first, the one behind her. Their curling backs only a scant few inches apart, the creaking as he reached for his bottle and then his voice calling up to whoever might be listening was the only thing that alerted her to his presence. Normally, she might not have said anything, but she recognized him. Someone that was with her in her time travels, back in 1968.

"Usually he just wants you to listen…" she offers quietly, turning bodily on the bench to give him a sidelong glance and a rather weak smile. On the inside, she's pondering the same thing. What to do.

The voice has him returning the bottle to the bench as he turns to face its owner. Delia. With visible exhalation of breath, Russo recognizes the futility of his situation, and the bottle is returned to his side. “It’s hard to hear when everyone is yelling,” he counters as he turns back to the horizon, his eyes following the street. His fingers lace together on his lap as he clenches his teeth together into that same vampiric smile, carefully considering all of his options. Finally, the bottle is grasped again before he stands and turns the bench to sit next to his half-sister.

She’s given a side glance— a simple acknowledgement of her existence— before he turns back to watch the world in front of him. Mirthlessly he chuckles, his laugh but a hollow sound emitted from the back of his throat, nearly pained in its calculation and reflection. “The world was never intended to be this way, you know. Evolved versus non-evolved. Brother against brother. Neighbour fighting neighbour. It was never meant to be like this. But there’s too much to be gained in it.”

He swallows around the growing lump in his throat, an uncomfortableness hanging in the air as his head shakes. “Did that actually happen? The jungle? It feels— “ the thought is lost somewhere in the recesses of his mind, relegated to a shelf of many unspoken ideas and thoughts.

"Yeah." A one word answer to a question that deserves so much more. As to the observation about the world and how it should be, the young nurse just shrugs her shoulders and purses her lips together to avoid the downcast expression threatening to overtake her features. She looks down, her red hair falling forward to shield her face from his view. Better to not let him see the tears threatening to spill out over her cheeks.

Blinking rapidly to contain them, she turns her head just enough to peek at the host's knees, rather than his face. "I — uhm — Are you… Are you okay? You disappeared — I was so caught up in…" Everything else. Surviving. The magnanimous journey itself. "I mean… and they were shooting…" She stops and takes a deep breath, her eyes roll upward to look at the gray sky, to whoever is looking down on them.

"He's my dad, was my dad…" She continues, of course she's telling him things he already knows but she doesn't know that. "If — if we hadn't gone back, my sister and I wouldn't have been born. So thanks."

“Yeah. I’m okay.” Ish. Russo shifts again on the bench as he watches the skyline and shakes his head. “I’m not some saint. No reason to thank me. Honestly, Asian dude basically told me I had no choice in the matter.” His lips purse involuntarily at the memory when he’d objected to being flung into the past to rescue past Melissa from some assassin from the past.

His eyebrows knit together as he stares even harder at the horizon, his gaze hasn’t returned to her yet, not even in his periphery, instead he chooses to watch the nothing in front of him, particularly as he shares this last bit, “If I hadn’t tried to help Benjamin….” his voice drifts before he turns his head to watch her at his next words. “Look. I wouldn’t exist either if he’d died. So. No reason to thank me, okay, Slugger?” His features, however, soften as he watches her outright avoidance of eye contact. He sighs quietly as he lifts an arm to put around her shoulder, like it or not, this is the kind of guy he is, even if he tries so hard not to be that person; not caring is so much simpler than giving a damn.

Oblivious to the obvious, even in light of the Keira problem that's been looming over their heads for the past month or so, Delia turns her head to look up at the television host, one of her eyebrows quirking a little as she does so. "Did my dad save one of your parents or something?" Benjamin is a little bit of a hero, she supposes, even if he was nothing but a green recruit when they saw him. "He saved a lot of people… Tried to, anyway."

Whatever it is that's inside the older man, that thing that drives him to perform the things that could get him killed… a deathwish gene maybe, it's inside of her too and the man beside her. In Delia it manifests as self sacrifice, in Brad… self destruction. "Glad you got out okay… I mean… Everything turned out okay. We're both still here so it must have all gone back to the way it should be."

Russo sighs again as he shakes his head. “It’s not like that,” his parents weren’t rescued, his existence was just contingent on the man they attempted (and presumably succeeded) to save. “We look more alike than I’d imagined,” he says quietly, waiting for Delia to catch on. “Especially at that age.” His lips press together as he reaches into his coat and extracts his wallet. Quickly he turns through several of the pictures, coming to one of him, eighteen years old, dressed in his military uniform. The photo certainly looks like young Benjamin Ryans.

Brad swallows hard. “Look, I’m glad you’re okay too. It’s… it is what it is.” He shrugs again and tries to smile, but he’s still feeling weary, and it’s reflected in the smile.

Taking the picture, the redhead gives it a cursory glance at first and as she's about to hand it back to him gives it a double take and pulls it back for a closer look. "Ho-lee smokes… This… This is you?" Narrowed blue eyes find his matching ones and she leans in just a little closer, inspecting the television host.

"Wh — Ho — I — " There's a lot that she wants to say, more that she should say but she's struck absolutely dumb.

Russo reaches for the wallet again with a shrug. "I didn't think we'd look that much alike," is all he manages before allowing his eyebrows to knit together. "Sorry. I should've said something sooner; just sometimes not knowing something is better than knowing. And I didn't know until just over a month ago. Since then everything has become surreal." His arms fold over his chest at the memory while his azure coloured eyes turn back towards the church.

"Time traveling is just the icing on the cake. Honestly, it's a metaphysical impossibility, and nothing about fixing the past to save the present makes sense. In fact, we could pretty much be positive we'd fixed the past the way it needed to be fixed because if we went into the past that meant the present existed." Beat. "Or something." His lips twitch with the emotion he masks by dwelling on the impossibility of time travel.

Still numb from this … news. Delia stares straight ahead, her mouth agape. "I — So — Wait… Wait wait wait…." Waving her hand in front of her in a 'stop' motion, the young redhead peers at him for a few long moments and purses her lips. There's a suspicious air about her, after all, there's Keira on the other side of the coin claiming to be her father's daughter too. But this guy — He hasn't even approached 'their' father.

"Hold up a second, so.. How do you know that my dad — ?" The rest of the question isn't asked, it can be pretty much assumed. "Because like, see there's this woman… Sort of nasty… She showed up at my apartment one day looking for dad. This guy, her boyfriend, showed her where I live. Anyway… She said that she's my sister but…" He knows that she's on the run, she doesn't have to tell him how she feels about the invasion of privacy.

Russo leans back against the bench, allowing himself to lounge against it before closing his eyes again, hiding from the brightness of the sunlight. "My mother," the words are simple enough, yet his lips curl at the memory of her but the smile fades as quickly as it appears. "She died… four years ago." He turns to face Delia, the weight of his stare implying what happened to her. "I lost her and the woman I loved that day. I… I didn't take it well."

That grim smile reappears as he turns from Delia, straightening his neck again. "She'd never talked about him. Always making one excuse or another when I asked. I'd eventually resigned that I'd never know. Anyways, after she… after she died…" his eyebrows furrow. "I didn't go into her house until just over a month ago. That's when I found the letter addressed to Benjamin." His lips purse involuntarily. "Benjamin with Primatech. She thought paper was more important than her… the letter said as much…" again he sighs, running his hand through his hair again.

"No… it wasn't just paper…" Delia's whispered admission comes with a slump of her shoulders. Would she have been born if Ben could have put a family above his work? "He… Primatech wasn't a paper company. Dad hunted people like me for a living." She was all over the news, it's how the television host first recognized her. Admitting that she's evolved, even in that capacity couldn't do more harm than admitting it in the first place.

Turning her head toward Russo, the redhead gives him a weak smile and lowers her gaze to his knees. "Same thing happened with him and my mom. I guess it's a pattern, huh? Mom was going to leave him, but she died in the bomb."

"I know," Brad answers quietly. "I did checking; I'm more than just a pretty face." His lips press together before he turns to face her again. "My mother didn't tell him I existed; thought it was better that way." There's another pause as his lips curl into a small half-smile, "Doesn't exactly inspire a guy to know him." There's another pause before he's shaking his head, "But I can't say I'm not curious."

He leans forward and rests his elbow on his knee. "Mom was looking out for her and I; she always was. I don't know if… if I should upset the status quo; that's why I didn't. Why I haven't. But then… Vietnam, sucked into it. Just weird is all."

"Yeah… " The redhead is still a little dumbfounded but this time, this admission, doesn't leave her with as many suspicions as Keira's claims. The story of a woman who left a man because he was too involved with work rings truer to the young woman than a one night stand with a junkie.

Lifting her eyes again, she squints a little as she looks at his and a worried expression crosses over her features. "So, are you going to try to meet him? I mean… now?" If he is, there's a few things she needs to warn him about. Like how he looks almost as old as their father does… Or on the flip side, their father looks almost as young as he does.

"I… I don't know," Brad admits as he shifts on the bench. "Maybe. Probably. I don't know." His lips press into a thin line again, a mimic of his thoughts on the matter at hand. "I want to know but I don't, if that makes sense?" His nose wrinkles while his eyebrows arch high on his forehead.

"Should I meet him? I know you're biased and all, but I never had a dad. Or a father figure. I made an underground fight club in my private high school and joined the military just to work out my apparent daddy issues and then paid a counsellor countless dollars to tell me that fact." His bright eyes peer into hers, "I guess what I'm asking is… I'm into my thirties… what would be the point?"

She's no therapist, she has a personal stake in the issue but to Delia, there's one glaring fact that makes her think that the television personality is looking for some sort of validation or closure on the subject. "Because… you're alone." For the young woman, there's possibly no greater torture than to be without any family.

"I mean, if you don't want to know, why did you tell me?" It's a blunt question with no bias mixed in, just what it is. Looking up at him again, she gives him a rather sorrow filled smile and shrugs her shoulder helplessly. "But I think if you do want to meet him, you'd better do it in the next few days. He had a vision…" The way she says those last four words would lead even the dullest person to believe that whatever Benjamin saw, it wasn't good.

Brad swallows at the three words that freak him out more than anything in the world. Uncomfortably he shifts on the bench. "I wasn't going to. I was going to let it go, but— " But when there's literally nothing left to lose and everything to gain it was nearly impossible to understand.

He frowns at the notion of Benjamin having a vision. "Will… will you… how can I even find him? This city is huge; he's a fugitive on the run, and I don't even know what he looks like. I mean… now. I know what he looked like then… "

Chewing on her lip, Delia furrows her eyebrows and takes a long time in contemplating the answer. It would be so easy for her to just give him the address to where 'their' father is but that's the wrong solution, there are too many lives at stake. Pulling her wallet from her pocket, she flips through the pictures until she finds one of her, Lucille, and Benjamin. It's a fairly recent one, a picture taken after he'd had his accident at work.

Passing it to him, she gives the television host a little bit of a worried grin. "That's dad… He… There was an accident at his work during the winter." Not a horrible accident, just one that made him look twenty to twenty five years younger. "The blonde is Lucille… she's not blonde anymore." Crazy models and their hairdos, always changing their styles.

"H-how old is he?!" Brad wrinkles his nose at the photo and frowns just a little. "Seriously?" He sighs quietly before focusing on Lucille, "She's the one the Asian dude mentioned while we were in Vietnam. I didn't know you have a sister. We.. had a sister? Have a sister?" He frowns as he muddles his way through the English.

"Sorry. I don't know… I've never done something like this before. That's all. I'm sorry," the apologetic tone extends as he buries his face in his hands like the action will randomly press his troubles away. "Just feels like I got more than I bargained for. That's all."

"Yeah… Lucille, she's .. uhm… different." It's a polite way of putting it, at least. Looking up at the church, Delia wrinkles her nose a little to stop the tears from welling up in her eyes. "This is the church that mom used to bring me to when I was little. I sort of stopped going when it wasn't cool to believe in God anymore." She started up again only recently.

"You can keep the picture, if you want it… He's fifty seven, but uhm.. Yeah…" Fidgeting a little, the redhead stares at the picture as though giving it away is tearing a little piece of her soul out. "I'd like it if you kept it, actually… I want to know something lasted if I don't make it."

"Wait, what? If you don't make it? What does that even mean?" There's an obvious defensiveness at the notion of what she's saying as Brad sits up and crosses his arms overs his chest. "Where are you going? What's going on, Delia? C'mon, Kid, you can't honestly believe you're going up the creek. Er. The river. Or… something?" His cheeks flush as he physically turns to face her, shaking his head again although he takes the photo and puts it into his wallet to accompany the photos of his dead family.

"Monday." Delia says meekly, there's a dull ache in her chest as she squints at the church, not looking over at Russo. "The visions are going to happen on Monday… or at least they'll try to. There's a lot of stuff that's going to happen, if I don't make it…" Her words are cut off as she reaches into her wallet again and pulls out a rather wrinkled but well loved photograph.

The edges are worn away, as though it's been taken out and put back in a few too many times. The corner that isn't broken off is curled inward and the color worn off so much that it's gone white. The middle is in tact, a woman with red hair. "This… this is my mom…" she chokes up as she passes the photograph to him, quite reluctantly. "Can you keep it for me? Just in case… and if… if I don't make it. Keep them together?"

The second photo is accepted with the same frown. His mouth opens to object only to close again. Brad sighs heavily before adding it to the wallet next to the other photo. "I'll give it back to you in a week or two." His blue eyes watch her carefully, "Don't worry, I get how important it is to carry the people you carry about around." He flips through the wallet and points to the picture of his beloved Karolina. "This was my fiance. And this was my mom." He tilts his head a little, "I'll take care of her, I will."

He hasn't stepped foot within a church since the explosion of Midtown took his wife from him, his faith taken from him when she died. It had actually been Delia's note that had drawn him to the church. With her going out so much, he's starting to wonder what she is up too.

Some habits are hard to kill.

There is reluctance when Benjamin Ryans steps within the church he used to go to with his wife when he was at home. Another reason for his reluctance his his lack of a suit, instead he wears jeans a long sleeved shirt and a canvas jacket. He is also in need of a haircut which he covers with a ball cap and shave, he looks a bit more rough, then refined.

Sniffling once, Delia wipes her eyes with the heel of her hand and blinks away the remaining ones. "I was… I was going to keep it with me. For good luck. She made this photo album for me and my sister… when we had to run, it was pretty much the only thing I took except for some underwear and socks. Now, I don't have anywhere to put it. There's no safe place anywhere." Jaiden had mentioned a storage facility outside of the city, but they'd never made it that far.

Glancing over at the church again, her eyebrows furrow and she rears her head back in surprise. "Wh — whoah…" she says softly and nudges the man beside her with her elbow. Raising one hand, she points toward the man on the church steps. "That's him… I never thought he'd come."

"I… I could take the album from you. I have like…" Russo coughs loudly, "…three homes. There should be space in one of them." At this he manages a wink and a kindly half-smile at her, even if it is a little sad.

Brad stiffens at Delia's words. His father. Here. Every muscle in his body tightens involuntarily as the adrenaline courses through his veins. He forces a super toothy grin at Delia, "Do I have anything in my teeth? Do I look… do I look I don't know… presentable?" He frowns as he presses his lips together, he doesn't actually have to say anything, right? He can just sit there in silence as a stranger in this family scene; that's what he is after all, right? And then, that insecurity extends a moment longer, "Do you think he'd like me?" He cringes before straightening and just pressing his lips together into a neutral line.

Under the cap, brows furrow as he looks up the facade of the church. Ben hasn't noticed the pair on the bench yet, his attention is riveted on the church. From where they sit they can't see the tightening of his jaw and the stiffening of his shoulders. He doesn't want to go in, he doesnt feel like he deserves to do it.

Then it's there… that feeling, that itch one gets between shoulder blades. The sense that someone is watching. It has him suddenly turning on a heel to look around him and that steely blue gaze comes to stop on the pair on the bench.

There is surprise when he sees Delia sitting there, but it doesn't show. He doesn't recognize the young man with her, he just knows it is not Jaiden. Worn brown work boots crunch on gravel as he allows this to draw him away from the church. He studies the stranger, face completely neutral and lacking any emotion.

The offer to hold her most valuable possession has the young woman tearing her gaze away from her father for the briefest of moments. There's an uncertainty in her countenance, as though she's wrestling with trusting a stranger with everything she holds dear or risking losing it by bringing it along with her wherever she goes. "I — uhm… " An audible gulp as she swallows nervously and then nods without further thought. "I can meet you somewhere?" Her decision is based on the simple fact that he's family and if she can't trust her family, then there's no one that can be.

When Ben turns toward them, she raises her hand in a little wave. She can't the fact that she's been either on the verge of tears or has let a few of them fall. The red tip of her nose and light tear stains under her eyes are enough to let the patriarch of the family know that there might be something wrong. When he approaches, she gives Russo a feeble smile and nods, "Just… uhm.. be yourself."

"I don't know who that is," Russo mutters back in response; it's a rare moment of honesty as he forces a rather rehearsed smile that fools the most skeptical guests on his show. It's a talent, really, and one that has gotten him paid on a regular basis. He straightens in his seat and leans forward a little as he rests his gloved palms on the base of the bench. His eyes scan the man who is apparently his father, still-confused at the sight of him, but managing to keep all of that concealed… save for the fact he's likely staring more than would be polite towards a complete stranger.

The condition of his daughter does manage to get a bit of emotion from the older man, brows tipping down into a concerned furrow. Of course, the only source would be the man sitting next to her, so a curious glance goes Russo's way, eyes narrowing in just a little, but only briefly.

"Delia, honey? What's the matter?" Ben's attention shifts to his daughter again. This older version, Russo will find, has a deeper voice. It rumbles like a big cat's purr, not the higher pitched voice of a teenager. There is a hidden question in those words, as in does he need to hurt someone?

"Nothing.. nothing dad.. uhm… I want you to meet a uhm… a.." Delia glances at Russo and turns her eyebrows up at the inner edges, what does she call him? "..friend?" The word is squeaked out, Benjamin would recognize the tell, she's either hiding something or not telling the truth. "Uhm.. this is Brad, he's from television." The fact that his daughter is something of a fangirl who had pictures of practically every celebrity that she'd ever shared a sidewalk with pasted to her walls should be enough to give her father an impression of what is going on. However right or wrong that impression might be.

"Brad, this is uhm… Benjamin Ryans, my dad." And his, apparently. Delia's smile grows a little stronger as she introduces the two and a bit of pride touches her features. Folding her wallet back up, she tucks it back into her pocket and nestles inside her new(ish) coat.

Silently thankful that at some point his father went through puberty and his voice deepened, Russo is essentially hands-off as Delia addresses their father. The introduction has him slightly flustered although not really outwardly; outwardly this presents as nothing more than an unusual flakiness as he blankly stares at his father. Finally he extends a hand to Ben. The handshake is confident enough, but the words Brad says aren't nearly as sure, "It's nice to finally meet you." There's a brief pause before the host is backpedaling, "I mean… it's just nice to meet you. In general. Slugge— Delia was just telling me about… the church." For a man who is freakishly good on his feet in general, Russo is certainly failing with his own father.

And he catches that tell tale marker of a young daughter who is trying to pull wool over her fathers eyes and she'll know it by the narrowing of his own and that Company Agent look sliding over his features. It's the look of authority, a cop look so to speak — though a bit odd considering his current look.

He also stiffens a bit as she gives her name, Ryans is after all a wanted man, giving her a sharp look. But then movement out of the corner of his eye, turns his gaze down to the outstretched hand. There is a brief flicker of distrust before he takes the hand, unknowing of who's hand he is shaking. "A pleasure." Now whether he means it or not is another thing.

"My daughter isn't being too much of an annoyance, is she?" He knows Delia's obsessions, so it's not an unusual question for Ryans to ask.

"Daaaaad!" The word is elongated, like she used to do when she was a teenager and protesting against his rules. Turning crimson with embarrassment, Delia gets up from the bench and turns to give Russo a weak smile. "I'll uhm… see you later then? I mean… We could go for coffee or something? I can call, or you can call me." To give him the photo album for safe keeping. Whether or not Benjamin would agree to it or not is another thing, so the offer and its acceptance is left unspoken for now.

Pulling the receipt for her coat from her pocket, the young woman scribbles her phone number down with the nub of a red pencil crayon. "Here… you can call anytime… I'm uhm… if I'm asleep, I.." Wouldn't wake up. "If I don't answer, just leave a message?" Thrusting the number at him, she gives the man a meek smile and holds it tightly between her cold fingers.

"Delia's not bothering me," Brad answers quietly as he accepts the receipt and rises to his feet. "I… I'll call.' He flashes her a toothy grin before taking a step towards the path, only to stop. "And Mister Ryans, it was nice to meet you." He takes a step away only to stop himself moments later. "Uh. It's not just Brad— I'm not a high school grad just looking for experience. I'm…" there's a moments hesitation before he reintroduces himself, "I'm Bradley Russo."

He chews his bottom lip before taking another step back and issues Delia a two fingered salute, "Take care Kid." And then, a little mischievously he adds, "And stay safe, okay?" With another step he quips once more, "This is so not Star Wars. I can't manipulate the force." Like Luke did for Leia. "So… watch yourself, okay?"

Benjamin actually gives Russo a look that a father who has been put upon by his kids would give, but there is a twitch at the corner of his mouth, a hint of an affectionate smile. But it's the last name of the younger man that has any hint of emotion melting away from his features.

A long silence follows it, as he seems to be the one staring. It's a familiar last name, but it might be a coincidence, maybe?

"I apologize if this seems so forward," he starts softly, voice just a little gruff. "But would you happen to know a — September Russo?" He seems unconvinced that this boy would know someone from his distant past.

The name has Brad stopping in his tracks; his retreat abandoned for an ironic smile. "September Russo was my mother." And there it is, plain and simple. Russo swallows hard around the lump in his throat, his heart pounds in his chest, and his gaze stays on Ryans a moment longer than it ought.

His hands are summarily shoved into his pockets, perfect punctuation to his words. "She died four years ago.' Or thereabouts. He shrugs a little, the more he says it (and he's been saying it a lot lately), the easier it gets to accept.

There is a brief flicker of pain, before his features smooth into that neutral mask again, "I'm sorry to hear that." The words are spoken softly, yet the bass in them allows the it to carry to Russo. "My condolences, she was — " Benjamin falters there. What could he say here? " — she was a special woman." It sounds almost lame to him, but what does he say? 'I dated her and then let my job get in the way?'

Not really appropriate.

He studies Russo for a long moment, then glances where his daughter is wandering off. "It was nice meeting you," he offers turning his attention back. "If you know my daughter, then I am sure we will meet up again soon." Fingers lift to touches the rim of his hat, in a gesture that works better for the fedora he use to wear.

"Lia!" He barks out, turning to follow his daughter. "Wait up."

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