We Could Be Happy


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Scene Title We Could Be Happy
Synopsis Winters visits Veronica after a long absence
Date June 23, 2009

Somewhere in New York

After spending the end of the work day (as if there is any semblance of normal hours) clearing out her personal items from her usually neglected desk, Veronica is out in the cloudy evening, wandering rather aimlessly through the streets near her apartment. Anyone following her tonight would wonder what the woman has in mind, as she walks halfway down one street before retracing her steps and continuing in the other direction.

Finally she heads into one of those multi-media bookstores, that has books, books on tape, DVD and Blue-Ray discs, a small selection of outmoded VHS, CDs and a cafe. She picks up a basket, apparently intending to pick up more than an item or two, and begins to meander through the aisles, as aimlessly as she walked the city streets.

There's alcohol on his breath.

Maybe it's the amount of booze flowing through his bloodstream(s) that has him loosing the argument he has with himself almost every night. Maybe it's the way she looks tonight, something different, maybe the lighting of the street, maybe she did her hair differently.

Nah, has to be the booze.

The door slides open to admit a man wearing a blue sweatshirt, with the hood pulled low over his features, and even though it is night time, a pair of aviators rest on the bridge of his nose. A brief nod is given to the cashier, as the man lowers his head and barrels into the aisles. Keeping his features hidden, and his purpose clear. A CD is quickly taken off the shelves and in a quick surreptitious movement, a switchblade is produced to free the item from its constraints. And after a few moments.. a new song is playing lightly on the store's speakers.

It's a marvelous night for a moondance…

Flashing a smile to the cashier as he parts from him, and parts with a little cash. Brian brushes back the hood of his sweatshirt. This could be one of the stupidest, or smartest things he's ever done. He'll just have to wait and see…

Veronica doesn't notice the CD change until it hits that first line. She glances up for a moment, her brows furrowing into a frown. Wasn't Yo Yo Ma playing a moment ago? Maybe someone couldn't take any more of the instrumental cello and just had to get their Van Morrison on. Right.

That part of her brain that says "be alert" won't let her ignore the music, won't let her think, "Well isn't that a coincidence." She picks up a DVD to read the back, while one hand slides to her belt to unhook her taser. Her heart pounds in her chest. If it's him, there's no telling why he's here. But it can't be good.

And Brian fills the mouth of the aisle that Veronica dwells in. His eyes seem.. well weak, would be the most apt word. But that doesn't mean they're not as observant as ever. But if he does note her hand sliding down to the taser, he doesn't make any sign of noticing it. At least, not yet.

Finally he's crossed the line from watching her from afar, thinking about her, and taking a step towards her. The swell of emotions in his chest won't be quelled, and that's why no words come. He wets his lips slowly, his chest rising and falling in steadying breaths. But he says nothing, not yet. He just stares at her, a look that is mixed with a longing yet a deep disturbance. Then he looks at her expectantly, as if wishing she would break this silence that he is so overcome by.

The female agent notices as soon as someone steps into her aisle, and her eyes slide to catch a sidelong glance — at first she doesn't recognize it as him, the hoodie not being something she's ever seen him in. But the vision registers slowly and her brain catches up finally. She steps backward, her own lips parting, her brows furrowing with confusion and a touch of fear. It could be one of his replicates, the logical part of her brain tells her. Maybe he recognizes her from some shared brainwave thing with Winters. "Brian…?" she asks — stupid question, wouldn't they all be Brians? But the simple two-syllables uttered mean more than that. Is it her Brian, her Winters?

His eyes go to lock onto hers, his lips remaining solidly together. For some reason exuding a strong front in this moment of desparation is very important in the back of his mind. Though, the strong part only comes out in certain areas. And others, it fails to show up all together. His eyes, for instance, display a very acute weakness, a weakness that increases when his eyes go to meet her gaze. The only logical solution is to avert his gaze, looking down at the floor. And then the aviators which he tucked into the front of his sweatshirt are quickly reproduced and set back on the bridge of his nose.

His hands hang limply at his sides as he slowly looks up, and with all the patheticness of a child, a slow and weak nod is given to the woman's question. And then a questioning expression, as if asking if that's okay. Is it okay that he's here? That he wants to see her? Too many emotions and thoughts in one head, he can't keep track of everything, much less make a logical decision. So it's her he's counting on to either affirm him or.. well, tase him.

Veronica glances behind her — his back is toward the front of the store, meaning she's in the more vulnerable position, back against the wall, even if the wall is twenty feet away yet. He could also replicate and have her surrounded in an instant. "What… where have you been?" she asks, not telling him Goodman mentioned him after Goodman betrayed the Company. Maybe he has an excuse. Maybe he hasn't been with Goodman at all. Her voice is husky, quiet, as she stares at him, her dark eyes searching his face, her drawn face reflected back at her in the sheen of his sunglasses.

"Hiding. Running." It hurts to tell the truth. Because the truth sucks. The truth makes him look bad, but maybe he deserves it. A frown pulls down his lips as she glances behind her. For anyone else it would be an innocuous move. Nothing to pay attention to, but they have the same training, and he knows how she operates. "Please don't. I'm here because I miss you. That's all. I'm sorry." He offers pathetically, taking a few slow steps forward into the aisle.

"Running from us, or running from them?" Veronica asks, worry flooding her eyes. She can see he means no harm, and he's chosen a public place to confront her when he could easily get in at her apartment — the locks were changed, but the apartment staff would probably let him in, recognizing him. "If you're in trouble, Brian… let us know. We can help. What did he tell you? If you're worried about us not trusting you, you know that they can check to see if you're still loyal. If you want to come back to us, you know you can… I don't know what he told you… he told me stuff, too, to lure me in…" She stops there, though, because what Goodman told her was true, after all.

"Everyone." Brian answers bluntly, taking another step forward, closing the distance. "He had proof." He says as if wishing that he didn't have proof. This would be a lot easier, that way. "I didn't want to follow him, don't want to follow him." If he's even still alive. Hiding from everyone gets you cut out of the loop, obviously.

Come back to us, "Us?" He asks, the word is said with a bit of disdain. "I don't want to go back to them. I want to come back to you. If they checked me to see if I was loyal, they would lock me up. I'm not. Not to them. But I'm loyal to you, Vee." His hand comes up to take away the sunglasses, his eyes seem to be welling up slightly. "I know it's corny, but we can get away from all of it. We don't need them."

Dammit, don't you cry, Veronica's logical part of her brain tells her, but her own eyes shimmer more than is usual as the tears well up within them. "What did he have proof of, Brian?" she asks, her voice quieter, so that the tremulousness won't be so obvious. "He mindwiped Minea… but now she's gone anyway. I don't know what to believe, Bri. I don't even know… I mean, you could be working for him right now, trying to lure me. That's the problem with this job, right? You never know. You never know what's true and what's not and when you're a pawn and when you're making your own decisions or when they've been made for you."

A tear slides down her cheek, running down and off her chin. She brushes it away, the knuckles of her hand wrapped in a bandage. "They'd follow us and mindwipe us, if we go anywhere, Brian."

"The Company had my biological parents killed. And my sister.. Because my parents objected to the testing on me. The Company is supposed to control these dangerous Evolved, right? But they create them. There's got to be something wrong with that picture, Vee. And Goodman? Fuck him. He just wanted to use me. I'm done being a pawn, Veronica. I…" He pauses, taking one final step forward closing the distance between them. "I guess I can't convince you, that I'm not working for him. Trying to lure you. I just…" His hand slowly lifts, thumb going to dab away at the moisture created by the tear.

His jaw tightens at her last comment, "They haven't found me. We can.. be normal. Fuck the Company, fuck Goodman. We can be happy. That's the only thing I can tell you, but I can't make you believe it's true." But in an effort to do that anyway, the young man leans forward, his lips going to brush against hers. One of many kisses they've shared, but in many ways, the very first one.

She drops her eyes at the talk of his parents, her brows furrowing. Her own father killed due to a Company bag and tag gone wrong, how fitting that she was partnered with Brian. Did someone know that? What sort of sick sense of humor did Goodman have? "And when I die, I expect to find him laughing," she murmurs, the line from the Depeche Mode song suddenly entering her mind.

She feels his hand on her cheek and glances up, just in time to see him lean in. She lets him do it, then turns away with a sudden sob, leaning against one of the DVD shelves. "I'm supposed to take you in if I see you," she says in a quiet, flat voice. "I don't know what to do, Brian. Do you have a place I can contact you … probably not, and nothing you'd trust me with…"

A hand goes to grasp her shoulder gently, trying to redirect her leaning on the shelves to his own shoulder. He takes a breath as she informs him of her mandate to take him in. Makes sense, he's been too emotional and too drunk to think about it. "You're not going to do it, right? Vee.. We could be happy." He repeats, as if making it more real. "I care about you, more than a partner is supposed to care about the partner. And even if you won't tell anyone, I know you feel the same way. We could take care of each other. I could protect you." His arms go to link around her waist slowly.

The hand is too close to all her weapons. As much as Vee wants to lean on him, as much as she wants the embrace and for someone to look out for her for a change, that logical part of her trained agent's mind has her backing up again. She blushes a little and moves to pat her holster beneath the lightweight jacket she wears. "Weapons…" she whispers, by way of explanation for the withdrawal. She steps closer and reaches for both of his hands, squeezing them in her own, bending down to kneel on the carpet, pulling him with her. It's a big bookstore. People sit on the ground and read sometimes; it's not too strange. "If they find us together — together, we know way too much, Brian. One or the other they might let it go, but you know the resources they have. Where could we go?"

Brian frowns as she pulls apart from his embrace. A sharp pang goes down his chest, though his hands cling to hers tightly and he allows himself to be pulled down with her. Going to his knees, his hands remain on hers, if she tries to pull away he may not let go without a fight. He's been dreaming of this moment for a while. "Wherever we want." Brian says in response, "The world is our oyster.. or whatever. The Company can't find everyone, Veronica. And if the payoff is spending my life with you.." A light shrug is given. "I'll risk getting caught by the company." A questioning glance is given to her. As if to say, 'is that okay?'

Those whiskey-brown eyes well with tears again. Dammit, don't cry, that voice tells her again. Still, despite being a company agent trained for combat and intrigue, Veronica is a young woman being told she's loved and wanted. She has a heart, even if she hides it. "Why didn't you come to me, tell me Goodman talked to you? Why didn't you trust me then?" she whispers. "You want me to trust you, Brian, but you didn't trust me," she points out. "As your partner or anything else."

A long moment passes, the tight grip Brian had on her hands loosens. "I.." He practically chokes it out, before releasing her hands. "I was.. confused and scared. I have it sorted out. I made a mistake. I should have come to you." He admits, averting his gaze from hers. The shame is too much. "I just.. I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to get you hurt I.. I don't know. I'm sorry." He ends, all he knows how to say at this point. "I made a mistake. But I love you. Tell me you don't love me, and I will leave you alone." He says hallowly, slowly looking back up at her.

She swallows hard and shakes her head. "I don't want you to leave me alone. I don't know what I want, Brian. I… I can't say I'm ready to run away with you, not after not knowing for the past two, three months if you were dead or alive and now to see you in front of me… Everyone leaves me, Brian… everyone I care about dies or leaves and you …" she closes her eyes, trying to stop the inevitable flood that wants to break the dam of her eyelids. "Adam Monroe killed Kat, Brian. Kat's dead. Minea's betrayed us, and you were gone." Some tears squeeze past her clamped eyelids anyway. "I don't know what I believe or trust. I need time to figure it out."

"I'm not going to leave you, Vee. Not again. And… I was always close, Vee." Brian admits, a sad look crossing his feature. "Do you like your new partner?" He looks like a douchebag. But maybe that's not the best thing to say at this time. His features tighten at the news. He just wants to reach out and hold her, hold her close but.. A light sigh escapes instead. "I will wait for you as long as you need… baby."

There are times Veronica looks much younger than she is, times she looks vulnerable and more like a scared little girl than an agent who has spent the past five years chasing down people who could kill her with a wave of their fingers or an errant thought. Now is one of those times. She stares at her former partner, seeking the truth in his gray-blue eyes as yet another traitor tear slips down her cheek, running into the corner of her parted mouth. For a long moment she looks at him like this before she's back to business.

She brushes away the tear and reaches into her pocket, pulling out her card and writing a number on it. "Listen. That's my personal cell. Don't call the work one. And they might be following me at times… checking my loyalty, I don't know. There's reasons they might doubt it right now. So don't try to meet me unless you're one hundred percent sure it's safe. Everyone knows to bring you in if they see you… so don't be seen or act like you're the other Brian, spout some religious nonsense at them or something I guess, and maybe they'll buy it." She pauses. "We can meet again… maybe Saturday at the old theatre in Greenwich, the one that plays all classic films for five dollars… whatever the 1 p.m. matinee is. Back row."

Brian's features soften as she looks at him, looking younger, scared. As she shows weakness, his fades away. The weakness in his eyes completely gone as she looks at him that way, strength in her moment of weakness however brief it may be. And then, when it's back to business, the strength vanishes.
"Got it." He murmurs softly. Taking the card from her he makes sure his hand brushes against hers as he does. "Greenwich at 1, Saturday. I'll be there." He says firmly, before leaning a bit. His arms move forward, going to try and embrace her. "I'm not going to take your weapons." His hands go to slide around her waist once again. "I promise."

Veronica leans to hug him, head butting him slightly when he mentions the weapons, then smirking and letting her forehead rest against his. "I've missed you," she finally murmurs. "Be careful…" she adds, her brows furrowing again. "I don't want to lose anyone else, Brian. I can't."

Grinning, he gives a gentle head butt back. Finally the depression is wearing off and that mirth is returning to his features. "I've missed your boobs." He says with a smirk, before craning his neck to plant a soft kiss on her lips. "You be careful. You're all I have." He returns to her. "You won't lose me. You can't lose me." He assures her, one hand sliding up her back to go through her hair gently.

She shakes her head at that. At one point, she didn't think of him as a real person, and now it might be he's the only person who actually loves her in this screwy city. "Saturday…" she murmurs, squeezing his shoulders, and then using them for leverage to stand up once more. "Help me pick out some movies," she says with a chuckle. "So I can alphabetize them wrong and drive you nuts, but more because if I leave with one tiny thing, anyone watching me might be suspicious. And leave after me. Wait another ten or fifteen minutes." As if he doesn't know how to follow without being noticed — how many weeks has he been following her?

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