These Choices...


elaine2_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif richard3_icon.gif robyn4_icon.gif

Scene Title These Choices…
Synopsis A simple lunch date turns into something much worse.
Date November 30, 2019

Bay Ridge

It's a busy day in New York, as Robyn Quinn sits at a table outside of a local sandwich shop staring up at an overcast sky that threatens both rain and snow in the near future. Not that she could really tell the difference, save that it looked a little darker than usual. In front of her sits a wide ceramic cup of steaming coffee, and next to that a small metal flask.

She's waiting for not one, not two, but three people to arrive. To them it may have seemed like a very short notice call for a lunch double date, but in truth Robyn had been figuring out how this was going to go down for a month now.

She considers ordering her food rather than waiting - her patience feels worn into non-existence today, but settles against it as she lowers her head and scans the crowd, finally spotting the first arrival of her trip of invitees.

The invitation had been surprising — the source maybe even more so, since Elisabeth and Robyn run in many of the same circles but often seem to miss one another. As the blonde comes in from the street, she is wearing work clothing because it's where she's coming from. Black cargo pants and boots with good tread are turning out to be just as useful for the audiokinetic who is sitting behind a desk a lot less than she expected as it is for street cops. She unzips her black flight jacket as she makes her way in and glances around. According to the clock, she's actually a couple of minutes early for a change — work has a tendency to make her late for a lot of things.

Threading her way between the tables, Elisabeth finds Robyn pretty quickly and pauses with her hand on the back of the chair. It's the first time she's been in close proximity to the other woman this whole year. And it takes her a moment before she's able to smile, just a little. "So, uhm… I hear you're starting up your own recording studio," is the gambit she offers in greeting.

“Hey, Robyn,” Richard greets in the warm tones of seeing a friend long-absent as he walks into the shop beside Elisabeth, drawing a chair from the table and gesturing to invite his wife to sit before stepping over to claim the other for himself. He’s dressed in nice civilian clothing for a chance, a nice pair of black jeans and a polo shirt, although his old Chicago Air bomber jacket is thrown on over it. He’ll probably never get rid of that until it’s utterly destroyed by some disaster.

He drops down into his chair in a very un-CEO manner, sprawling back a bit with legs stretching out under the table, an easy smile curving to his lips though his eyes are unseen behind dark shades, “Been too long. A recording studio?”

To Liz, then back to Robyn, brows raising curiously.

Elaine is the last to arrive. Her hair is pinned up in a bun that seems like it’s seen better days and she’s dressed in a fashionable teal blouse and knee-length black skirt with tall boots that reach just up to the hem of her skirt. Work attire. She works her way between customers and finds her way over, stopping to stand before the table for a moment.

“Sorry to be the last one here, I had a class run late and then all the instructions I laid out at work weren’t followed and that was a big mess,” she explains as she gracefully sinks down into the remaining chair. “Sorry to interrupt, too. Please carry on with your conversation, don’t mind me.”

"Kaleidoscope Studios," Robyn offers in quick reply, taking a sip of her probably spiked coffee. "In Bay Ridge. It was a rather large building that once housed some studio space and other businesses, so… I used most of my money from Studio K to buy up the lot and restore it. Top floor's where the kid and I live, bottom floor's the studio." She offers a small shrug, reaching over to Elaine as the other woman sits down.

"Also hello," she adds with a nod to Richard and Elisabeth. "Been a while," she agrees, sitting up a bit straighter in her chair. "I'll admit, this is somewhat a business get together, but I figured it'd be nice to have you all, me, and 'Lainey here get together for a lunch. Can't remember the last time."

Her smile cocks into a grin. "But before that, how have you been? Elisabeth, the last time I saw you…" was a memory of another time, something that makes her trail off and her smile twitch. She leans forward, pulling her chair up to the table. "Get into anything wild, lately?" As you do in New York.

Elisabeth relaxes a little when it isn't an immediate jump into OMFGtheWORLDisENDING, as it often can be when any subgroup of the Clan meets up. She shoots a smile at Richard when he holds out the chair, running a hand through her hair briefly. The wedding band is still new enough to flash under the lights. And she grins at Elaine, pleases to see the other woman too.

"Uhm… You're right it's been a really long time. I've been good, actually. I've kicked in a few doors since taking on the SCOUT team, but nothing too huge yet. I was actually considering looking you up for… some musical things," Liz replies, a little abashed at the admission. It's still a lot personal to her, back here at home. And it feels awkward.

Richard brings his head up in a warm and affable nod to Elaine as she comes over, “Hey there, long time…” Reaching over for the laminated menu, he glances down it as her and Elisabeth talk music.

He lets her answer about anything wild lately. His entire life is wild. And half of it is classified. And the other half sounds insane.

The third half is just family life.

This is surprisingly the calmest lunch Elaine’s had in a while. Usually she’s busy, lunches are rushed and often worked through. So when she’s able to take a moment, sit down, and look at the menu… she lets out a deep sigh for just the moment of peace. She may not even have realized she’s done it. Instead of engaging in conversation right away, she skims the menu until she hears Liz mention seeking some kind of musical assistance.

“Robyn is a great person to come to for ‘music things’. Don’t let her tell you otherwise. She’s always been good with music and I’m pretty sure she’ll argue that she just produces and stuff but… I’m sure she can help.” Her gaze flicks back to her menu, looking just the slightest bit tired.

Again, Robyn's smirk twitches. "Open by appointment, weekends and evenings preferred. I do still work at SESA, and I try to keep the kiddo happy when I'm not," she remarks in a very business like manner. "And despite what Elaine says, no. I'm not great. I am what's available, though. An underserved market, here in a place that is sure to give rise to all kinds of sad songs and begin-again anthems in time. I don't do music anymore."

A little white lie that no one at the table will know any better about, save for the way Robyn's grin takes a bit of a wicked turn.

Her eyes drift up to the sky above them, and she chuckles. "I'm surprised you don't have any news for me, Richard. I always have news for you." She leans back in her chair, still looking upwards. "But I figured we'd have a nice lunch date first, unless you'd like to get into it now." Her head tilts slightly to the side. "It looks like it's going to snow, apparently. I can't tell, everything's gray to me. But that's what people keep telling me."

There's a small smile when Robyn claims she's not great. "I'll keep the timetable in mind — Between Aurora and the twins, having some kind of actual life at home, and the new job, it's not as simple as it used to be to find time. I get it." She tips her head slightly and doesn't ask about the fact that Robyn can't see colors — it's something that she wasn't up to speed on, and it seems bad form to ask. "I do know she's one of the best to talk to… she loaned me a keyboard that kept me sane once." She winks at the other agent.

She picks up the menu and says, "I haven't eaten here before… anything particularly good?"

“I am absolutely behaving under penalty of death,” is Richard’s deadpan response as he glances back up from the menu, dark eyes peeking over the edge of his shades, “And holding all manner of crazy-ass business until my dear wife has decided that pleasantries and small talk have been completed sufficiently. Because I’m a workaholic.”

A smile tugs up a bit at the corner of his lips, “Is that about right, Liz?”

“I also suffer from workaholism, but I’m afraid my work and your work are two entirely different things,” Elaine directs towards Richard with a grin before her attention is drawn towards the weather. “As for what to recommend, I haven’t really had anything from here in particular, but I think I’m going to get something hot. The weather dictates it.” She skims the menu, looking for something that might be served hot and toasted like a meatball sub or a french dip. She does, however, take a moment to look in Robyn’s direction.

It’s subtle, probably not noticed unless someone happened to be looking in her direction at that exact moment, but she’s watching Robyn, just for a moment, before her eyes quickly dart back to her menu.

Eyes still cast upwards, Robyn offers a small little chuckle. "I don't know that it's that different all told," she remarks. "At least the above board stuff. Yeah Richard's a CEO, but your running a big part of the Fellowship now, aren't you?" Oh yeah, Robyn's definitely going to talk up Elaine, even if she won't let the reverse happen.

"Clam chowder or the tomato florentine are good," she notes in respect to menu options. "Or a warm pastrami on rye, which is what I'm getting." Shoulders rise in a small shrug

"All jokes and business aside, I am glad you all made the time. It's been too long I just had a casual lunch with friends." She tilts her chin back down, looking around the table for a moment before looking back upwards. Her eyes land on Elisabeth. "I don't think I've had the pleasure of meeting Aurora."

Elisabeth nods immediately. "We have to teach you social graces somehow," she teases lightly with a stinking of her nose at him.

Something warm definitely appeals and she shoots Elaine an enthusiastic nod at that. "Oooh. Tomato soup and pastrami. You are a woman after my own heart, Robyn. No clam chowder. Still not a fan of seafood again yet." Considering where she was before here, it was kinda seafood overload. "Yeah, we haven't really crossed paths much, so … She's, uhm." She pauses and considers. "Well, she's a good kid. She's settling in well enough over at Peyton's school. Thrilled to be learning to read. How about your little one? I hadn't heard that congratulations were in order on your end either," she offers with a smile.

“I mean, I wasn’t exactly talking about that kind of business…” A rueful note to Richard’s tone, though his brows do go up as he looks to Elaine, “Oh, are you? Well, congratulations are in order. We do work a lot with Yamagato, but of course I’m sure you know that already…”

The menu’s set down, “I’ll eat the clam chowder if you aren’t going to, Liz.”

“Head Curator,” Elaine says, though she brushes it off a bit, giving Robyn a bit of a look for turning it around on her. She nods towards Richard. “I’m aware, though it’s not exactly an area I have a direct hand in. My job lies more in organizing displays of old writing and pottery. If you ever find something old you need translated, though…” She chuckles lightly.

“Maybe I’ll have the clam chowder too.”

There's a bit of an awkward laugh from Robyn, eyes sliding over to look at Elisabeth. "It's not like that," she offer, raising an eyebrow. "Adopted. Recently." Her gaze slips to Richard next. "Matthew Parkman Jr. His mother passed at Sunstone." Which probably only means much to Richard.

"You're selling yourself short, 'Lainey. Stop it." Taking a long sip of her coffee, Robyn lets out a contented sigh. "Anyway!" She claps her hands together, slinking in her seat a bit as the waiter steps up to the table. "Anyone have Christmas plans yet?"

The pause when Robyn says the name is visible. Elisabeth's shock is plastered on her face. "Oh." There's a lot in that simple response that indicates she'd like to ask about a million questions, but the blonde bites it all back. This is neither the time nor place.

"Uhm… no, not really," is Elisabeth's reply. "Just making sure the children have a good one. The last couple were… rough for Aurora." Understatement. She's good at it.

At the revelation of the boy’s identity, Richard sits up a bit straighter in surprise. “Matthew…? Holy shit, I haven’t seen that kid since…” A conflicting tangle of emotions there; his friendship with Parkman had gone in a lot of different ways in the end. “Christ. I didn’t even think about— what might have happened to him.”

Guilt flashing to life as he rubs a hand over his face, “…ah, yeah. Yeah, what Liz said. It’ll be a good holiday this time.”

“Robyn’s a good mom, even if she might not believe it yet. I think Matthew is in the right place, and I think he’s doing the best he can be, all things considered,” Elaine says, glancing back over to Robyn for a moment and offering her a small smile. She glances back towards Elisabeth, then nods slightly.

“Making Christmas special for kids is a good idea. I know I’ve had some rough ones myself.” She can think of at least one in particular. “I’m sure everyone will be busy. Holidays usually are.”

"Then-" Robyn slaps the table in front of her, that wicked grin growing, "-a party!" She leans back in her chair, looking like she's just a moment away from kicking up her feet on to the table. "For us, and for the kids. Let's make a thing of it this time. I figure there's lots of things to celebrate this year." Her eyes drift over to Elisabeth at that part, her implication clear.

"I mean, why not." Her voice suddenly evens out, grin fading as she stares at the distance between Elisabeth and Richard. "Could be the last one we get." Hands fold into her lap, quirking an eyebrow up at the three other at the table. "I've been reminded a lot of that in the last year."

Grinning cheekily at Robyn over the amount there is to celebrate, the turn for the morbid sobers Elisabeth's cheer instantly. Her blue eyes flicker between the other women more than to Richard, if only because she's aware what's in their corner. "The last one we get?" The words stick in her throat a little, her hand seeking out her husband's under the table just out of habit. "Wanna elaborate a little there, lady?"

“I think she means the usual… I mean, nobody knows how long we have,” Richard admits, his hand under the table curling with Elisabeth’s in a too-tight grip for a moment even as he offers a wry smile to Robyn, “But, let’s try and make sure it’s not our last, eh?”

Clearing his throat, “How old’s, ah, Matt Junior these days?”

“Robyn, are you—” Elaine cuts herself off, leaning over just slightly to give Robyn a good once over to determine if she’s okay. Straightening up, she shakes her head a little bit. “A Christmas party could be fun. I’ve got a few Christmas recipes I could try.” But despite her words she still seems the slightest bit hesitant.

And now she’s definitely watching Robyn.

Robyn doesn't respond to their concerns immediately, instead taking a long sip of her coffee. Sliding it to the side. "Twelve," she offers. "We did a very low key birthday in July." Eyes slide over to Liz, and she smiles. "Nothing out of the ordinary for folks like us. Like I said, I've gained a new appreciation for how short life can be."

Fingers drum on the table, and she chuckles. "But we can get into that later." She looks over at Elaine, noticing her gaze but offering no follow up response.

Apologetic looks are shot first to Robyn and the Richard. "Sorry… a little on edge." Between the explosion of the launch, the rising anti-SLC shit at work, and just the holiday itself, the blonde is wound a bit tight. Elisabeth admits, "Starting to think going back to this job might not have been in my best interests." A roll of her eyes.

Her grip eases but she doesn't pull her hand from Richard's under the table. The light touch is a reminder of the here and now. "So… you have a pre-teen boy on your hands? I'm … not sure how much I'm looking forward to that. The twins just turned 8 and Aura will be 8 in June. There's already sass and attitude." Not as much as there could be, just given the personalities in question, but still!

“Damn. If he was a couple years younger— I imagine at that age, he’d find playing with eight year olds childish,” Richard chuckles, shaking his head, “I remember how it goes with kids that age.”

He squeezes Liz’s hand, reassuring. “I think Lili will keep Ricky in check. Aura… there’s probably going to be some rebelliousness there eventually. She thinks of us as too perfect, and eventually that illusion’ll break. And then— ” Faux-horrified voice, “Teenaged Rebellion.”

“Well, at least all these kids have great families. They may not appreciate it, but all of you are offering them something they’ll need to get by later. They learn a lot from you,” Elaine says, but then shrugs. “But you don’t need me to tell all of you that. You’re the ones that get to see them every day and see the impact you make on them.”

Maybe she’s starting to think about Robyn’s mention of a short life. “I always liked holidays.”

"I don't think he has much exposure to other kids," Robyn notes, raising an eyebrow. "Them being a bit younger may not be much of an issue. I think he'll appreciate the company." She chuckles, shaking her head. "Won't admit, maybe. But…"

Eyes alight to Elaine, and Robyn stares ahead. "I don't," she remarks quietly. "They remind me too much of family. I barely talk to my father anymore, and mum…"

There's a distant look in her eyes, lips thinning as she trails off. "Richard." The time for waiting is over. "Did you manage to recover any data from Sunspot?"

Elisabeth squeezes the hand holding hers and breathes out. As much as she'd hate to say so, it's hard not to think Robyn had business on her mind when she asked to meet — none of them are very good at the socializing part of things. And it seems that hasn't changed a lot in the years between. She tips her head and simply waits for the conversation to roll.

Richard’s fingers tighten around Elisabeth’s in return, reassuring. “Well, bring ‘im around sometime. I wouldn’t mind meeting him either,” he admits… although he may have to leave out ‘I knew your father’. It could get weird and awkward.

Then he pauses, a brow lifting, “What data are you asking about? Sunspot was… well. You know.”

“Family’s what you make it,” Elaine glances towards Robyn a little tersely. “It’s not always about blood.” She seems to resist the urge to say anymore on the topic, instead choosing to not detract from the ‘business’ end of the conversation. She listens, one ear on the conversation while she idly glances towards the rest of the restaurant, suddenly feeling a bit out of place.

"Oh, you know, whatever." Robyn leans back in her seat, legs crossed as she glances over to Liz, then to Elaine. "Recent activities, projects, solar activity and anomaly charts, personnel." She leans forward, taking hold of her cup of coffee. "Particularly personnel," she adds before taking a long sip.

She holds the cup close for a moment, eyes cast down into her murky reflection. "As it turns out, my mother worked there. Before Antarctica." Chin lifts up, eyes level at Richard asnshebtikts her head slightly. "She worked there, and she died there." Wait, what?

Wait, what? Elisabeth sort of stares at Robyn, her blue eyes flickering questioningly to Elaine as well. She's been gone and seriously out of the loop on a good number of things in this world. "Your mother… worked for the Company?" she asks slowly.

Richard’s chin dips in a slight nod. “Yes… I know,” he admits quietly, “It happened when they fired up the Looking Glass. The Dragon was waiting for them. That’s how it escaped the first time, through your mother.”

He picks up his own cup, motioning with it, “How’s your wardrobe looking as far as cold weather gear? I was about to call you when you did, actually.”

Elaine catches Elisabeth’s glance in her direction, her expression equally as puzzled. Even she’s not entirely sure everything that’s going on or why, and prior awkwardness is forgotten in favor of turning to face Robyn with a serious expression. “… that certainly sounds like you might have a few questions needing answered.”

She’s grateful for just a moment that she doesn’t have these kind of familial situations.

"Oh? You didn't know?" Robyn looks over to Liz, quirking an eyebrow. "Well that's fine, because until last year I didn't…" She trails off as Richard speaks up, her expression flattening as she turns from Liz to him, looking unamused.

"You knew?" she questions. "You knew my mother was a- host for that thing? That-" Her lips thin, and she inhales a deep breath. "Why didn't you say something, Richard? I've been trying to figure all of this out since… " It's clear that her mood is a bit soured at this news."So I guess you know how she was alive enough for me to be born then," she remarks with a dismissive wave of her hand. "Well I suppose that saves me some breath."

She stares at Richard for a moment. "Cold weather clothes. At least we're both on the same page there," she remarks with a hint of bitterness. "I need a new parka anyway."

Elisabeth gives Robyn a look that could be interpreted as a sarcastic please! "Because I just spent seven years somewhere definitely not here. How would I know jack shit?" she asks, amused. And then she's less amused cuz Robyn's annoyed. Richard's on his own with that one. She picks up the glass of water from the table in front of her and simply sips from it. Not like she can volunteer a parka for that.

“I did just say I was about to call you,” replies Richard in dry tones, taking a sip of coffee, “I’ve been trying to find out as much as I can before passing it on, since people just glare at me if I only have sparse information to go on. Of course they glare at me if I wait too, but hey, that’s my life I guess.”

He tips his head in a nod to Robyn, “Yeah. With any luck, we can find some answers there.”

Elaine looks first between Robyn and Richard, then directs her gaze towards Elisabeth. “You don’t have to be away somewhere to end up usually out of the loop.” She smiles a bit wryly, leaning back in her chair a little. “So I take it that means we aren’t going to have time for the Christmas party? Life’s short, you know.”

"Quiet." Robyn holds a finger up to Elaine, far too focused now to realise exactly how rude she's being to her partner - or to care. Hands come to rest on the table in front of her, fingers drumming for a moment as she keeps her eyes locked with Richard's. "Richard, people are going to glare at you no matter what. That's our fucking lives. We can't win. So, you know, maybe next time don't wait to share the important stuff."

Crossing her arms, she lets out a belaboured sigh. "I came to you as soon as I had this all…" Processed, is really what she should say. "Sorted." Thumb and middle finger move to rub at her temples.

"C'est tellement frustrant. How long have you been thinking about going to Antarctica? I only just landed on it. It's the only way I'm going to get any answers myself, instead of having them dropped in my lap, I figure. What do you think?" This, despite her tone and shift in demeanor, seems to be an earnest question at least. "Haven't people already been through it by now?"

"Well, we can't shortchange Christmas for Aurora, so … definitely a Christmas party." Elisabeth eyes Richard with a mildly baleful look. "Given the amount of time that'll take, you better build in the travel time for that." She's annoyed that she isn't going.

At the curt exchange from Robyn to Elaine, Richard’s brows both go up in surprise - an apologetic glance towards the linguist before looking back to the woman glaring at him. “We just got funding for it,” he replies, his own tone a little more curt now, “You’ll find your leave approved as soon as you apply for it.”

Hands spread a little, “I figure mid-December. We’ll be home before Christmas.”

Elaine’s jaw literally drops. For a moment she doesn’t even say anything. Her eyes go to Richard first, then Elisabeth in a kind of ‘did you see that’ manner, and then she lets her attention return to Robyn. But there’s no outburst. No witty comment back or angry yelling. She’s quiet alright. Robyn got what she asked for, but certainly not in a way that isn’t going to have lasting consequences.

She’s livid.

Perhaps unaware of the pot she's just stirred, Robyn looks over at Elaine and smiles when it's shared that they'll hopefully be back in time for Christmas. "See, 'Lainey? We'll have time for a party! It's either that or wait until January." Her eyes drift over to Richard. "And we can't have that. If we're thinking of going to- well, I guess going back to - Antarctica, we probably aren't the only ones."

She turns back from Elaine to the others, crossing her arms. "So. Who's strings did you pull to get my leave pre-approved? I certainly haven't talked to anyone at work about any of this, and I would like to keep it that way." There's a mildly strong tone in those words - not quite accusatory, but edging in that direction.

She leans forward, elbow against the table and chin propped against the back of her hand. "I'm ready to leave as soon as possible. Just tell me where I can go sub-zero shopping, and I'll make arrangements for Matthew." Which means, leave him with Elaine most likely, since Gillian is still away.

Elisabeth made a significant effort to not see that … because she has no idea how to respond to it, dear God does not want to be sitting across from livid Elaine. When Elaine gives her that look, she winces in a manner that suggests yeah, I saw it and holy shitfuck please let me be invisible when you kill her. The party suggestion was her attempt to smooth over the mess, but… she's not sure that worked at all.

And then Robyn continues as if she has no idea what she just did. Yup. The audiokinetic can see the train coming. It's in slow motion and she cannot look away or get out of range. She's pretty sure this will be a front-row seat to something. Although, to be fair, Elaine is usually exceedingly decorous.

Sorry, Richard, you're on your own dealing with the potential train wreck!

The eyes behind Richard’s sunglasses are wider than usual as he looks between Robyn and Elaine. Back to Robyn. Then elaine. Then Robyn.

He clears his throat, shifting his chair back ever so slightly, “Claudia’s footing the bill for this particular trip, and— I’m shipping in some arctic gear that we can use, just let me know your size and I’ll ensure it’s taken care of.”

He slants a look to Elisabeth, then suddenly reaches into his jacket and pulls out his phone, thumbing it open. “Shit,” he says, glancing to his wife suspiciously quickly, “Looks like there’s an emergency at work, I’ve got to go— “

Everyone except Robyn seems to have noticed there was a line crossed. Elaine’s gaze shifts between Elisabeth and Richard in a silent conversation. She folds her hands neatly and places them on the table. She doesn’t look at Robyn as she speaks.

“That’s a shame, it would have been nice to have longer together. I was looking forward to some pleasant socialization. But I absolutely understand that work is very pressing. I am sure Robyn will be in touch to help plan the whole ‘snow adventure’.” Her words do sound genuine here, but they fall a bit flat at the end. “I’m sure you’ll be back soon enough and we’ll all have a great holiday party.”

She calmly reaches for her water and takes a sip, returning her hands to their folded position afterwards.

"Claudia? Zimmerman? Merde, Richard, you didn't tell her why I'm going, did you?" The look on Robyn face is a strange mix of panic and annoyance. She sighs, sitting up straighter in her seat. "Whatever. I trust Director Zimmerman, otherwise I wouldn't work for her."

As Richard suddenly begins readying to leave, Robyn frowns. "But, lunch…" has barely even started, but she doesn't finish. There's definitely some disappointment there, slouching back in her seat. "Ah well. Which world needs saving this time?"

It's not meant to be snarky, bit the way she folds her arms across her chest may give that impression. "We'll catch up soon. I'll get my leave next time I'm at Fort Jay." Her eyes turn to Elisabeth, still oblivious. "It was nice to see you again, Liz. We should get together soon."

With that, a look back to Elaine as she reaches for her purse. "Well… so much for sandwiches. Where to next, hon?" Fishing out a few bills, she lays them on the table - enough for her bill, and a sizeable tip.

In spite of the circumstances that are necessitating a tactical retreat at high speed, Elisabeth does smile at Robyn sincerely. "I would very much like that, Robyn. If we don't manage before you leave town, I will make a point of catching you when you get back." She slants a look at the pissed off Elaine as she moves to stand up. "Call me, lady. We'll keep in close touch while they're gone, okay?" For a lot of reasons. "I'm sorry about lunch."

She offers both women a small wave, grateful for Richard's hand at her back as they escape!

“Sorry, we’ll have to make it up to the both of you,” says Richard as he pushes himself up to his feet, hand lingering on Elisabeth’s back, “Good seeing you, Elaine, give a call sometime— “

Spoken quickly and hurriedly as they head for the door, moving at a brisk stride. It must be important business!

Or they just don’t want to be witnesses in a murder case.

Elaine smiles at Elisabeth. "I'll be sure to call. The company will be nice." Really, she'll probably need to talk to someone after this anyway. She offers a small wave to Richard as well before she turns her attention back to Robyn. Her tone is a touch flat.

"I've got some important work stuff to do at my place, but you're welcome to come if you want."

Robyn claps her hands together, smirking wide as she sits back forward in her chair. "Well, that just means you owe me lunch before we leave, Richard. I'm sure we'll talk before then, then! I'll be in touch once I get my leave put in and all that. I'll need some pointers on how to pack for, you know. Antarctica." Warm weather gear not withstanding.

When Elaine speaks up, Robyn looks over at her and her smile widens. "C'est magnifique," she proclaims as she rises up to her feet, lifing her purse up from beside her. "We can move lunch there. It's been too long since I last saw Inger anyway." She flashes Elaine a smirk and a nod, before taking another moment to watch Liz and Cardinal make their way into the distance.

She doesn't think about it too hard.

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