1964-03-05 - A Not So Happy Reunion
Summary: Two people run into each other after several years. Things end on a tense note.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
able charlie1 

Tucked away in the far fringes of Brooklyn, Laroy's is a restaurant known for amazing porterhouse steaks and a wide range of whiskies. Nothing here is cheap, but for some, nothing cheap is worth having.

Able has already enjoyed his steak; now he's at the bar sampling the various bourbons, scotches, and ryes. He's come appropriately dressed; a black suit cut to accentuate his long legs and slim build along with a matching tie and a white pocket square embroidered with a tiny red 'A'.

He picks up another glass, this one filled with a mellow, amber bourbon. He looks at it through the light from a chandelier for a moment, then smiles and downs the dose in a single gulp.

As Able is enjoying an after-dinner drink a lovely woman walks in, strangely alone for a woman who is as beautiful as she is. She approaches the Matre'd station and leans in a bit, rising up on her toes to do so as the podium-like item he stands behind is almost as tall as she is. "Excuse me. I have a reservation for Stanislav… that's right, for one. Thank you." The gentleman gets a $20 slipped to him as a 'reward' as well as encouragement for good service, the money handed to him without so much as an eye batted at him.

A table is open within moments of this and the Matre'd shows her the way to where she'll be seated, happening to pass by where the slender man's sitting, enjoying the slections offered by the bar. "One moment, please," she implores of the host before going towards where the blond man sits. "Able? Is that you?" She asks the question in perfect German where she had been speaking in flawless English before, utterly without any trace of accent.

If Able is surprised, the only proof would be a minute raising of his eyebrows. He sets his empty glass down and pushes it aside as he turns to face the new arrival. Another glass, this one a sour mash whiskey, is drawn closer and his long fingers toy with the rim. "Helga," he acknowledges. A bare hint of a smile tugs at the corners of his mouth. Like her, he speaks German as if it's his native language. "You're looking well."

"Give my table to someone else," Helga politely requests of the host. "I will be eating at the bar, if that is alright?" Assured that it'll be just fine, she reaches out to touch the gentleman on an arm, her smile absolutely winning. "Thank you." That said, she turns her attention fully upon Able, the same smile afforded to him that the Matre'd just received a moment ago. "You are acting like you're not happy to see me. Come and give me a hug and then invite me to join you." Blushing slightly, then, she whispers quietly, "Thank you. As do you, Able."

"Of course." Able softens around the edges and stands to greet Helga properly, one hand on her hip and the other at the small of her back as he kisses her cheek. "Please, sit. It's good to see you. It's been… Two years? Almost three? Too long, in any case." A subtle nod to the bartender indicates that another round of whiskies should be brought to supplement the glasses in front of them that aren't already empty.

Helga's mouth curls upward a little bit more, the pleasantness to it now mingled with something best labled as smugness. Her cheek is leaned into the kiss and she sighs happily, the woman delighting in the fond affection. "It has indeed been that long, yes," she agrees with him as she seats herself, a menu soon brought to her. "I am sorry it took so long for me to come here. There were too many loose ends for me to depart until now."

What does someone as waifish as Helga order? She might be petite but she by no means has a small appetite; a rib eye with marrow butter is requested along with the usual sides that accompany such an entree as well a bottle of red wine to be served to her one glass at a time.

"Nice to see your appetite has remained intact." There's laughter in Able's voice, but he retains his composure for the moment. "No apologies. It's not as if I left under cordial circumstances."

There's a shrug and a sardonic smile. He downs a measure of scotch before he continues. "Curiosity compels me to ask, what brings you here now?"

The bottle of red is brought to where the pair of fair-haired friends are catching up, it opened with the normal amount of fanfare such a fine establishment requires although the offer to smell the cork is waved off by Helga who sees that more as a man's task. "No, you didn't leave under the best of situations, I know. That's a large part of why I sought you out here." The words drop off for as long as it takes the bartender to pour her first glass, it giving Helga time to think. "We never did get a chance to finish our last chess game, Able." Insert a minute pout, here.

There's a curve to an already arched eyebrow as Able considers his female counterpart for a long, quiet moment. He takes another sip of his scotch before he speaks. "Nostalgia and chess?" he queries. "This is why you left the Fatherland? Seems a bit unlikely." Again, there's a chuckle behind his words. "But I'm flattered all the same, fraulein."

"Well, it isn't just nostalgia and chess, of course," is admitted after a second spent thinking, "but let's not worry about the minute details as to why I am here, please? I would just like to spend the evening in pleasant company with someone from home." Helga side-eyes Able as she asks that of him, her request made in earnest. "There will be plenty of time for you to drill me for information later,' she adds with a rueful chuckle, her blush returning."

Now it's Able's other eyebrow that raises upward briefly. Several heartbeats pass before he bobs a slow, agreeable nod. He opens his mouth to speak, but pauses when the bartender passes by to remove several empty glasses.

When they're alone again, he clears his throat and starts a second time. "You're right. We can talk business later. How are you keeping yourself busy these days?"

"I've been bored, mostly. And tired of being under Father's thumb all the time," is what Able's given for answer, that perhaps two-thirds of the truth. "And since you never came back home, I thought I'd come here." Helga's very careful of what is said and the level of volume in which she speaks, not wanting to raise suspicions in case there are those who might assume… well, that they're bad people or something. "And yourself? Been busy? Making friends and everything?"

"And enemies," Able admits ruefully. "I've managed to find ways to fill the hours. Idle hands, and all." As if to prove his point, he pushes the last of the whiskey glasses aside and flags the bartender down for something more familiar. "Schnapps."

He seems none the worse for wear despite the rate of his consumption, and he does seem a bit more comfortable with a short pour of plum zwetschgenwasser in hand. Finally, his voice tight and tense, he asks the question he's been avoiding. "How is the old man?"

Charlie's meal arrives, the plates set down carefully so not to spilll Helga's wine. The server's given a smile of thanks before she turns her attention back to Able along with her supper. "Oh, you know. Bitter and nasty as always." Able is given something of a frown, her brow creased for as long as that gesture lingers. "He is still fuming over how you hurt him when you left," she points out, "and it'd probably be for the better if you never return, hmmm?" Sighing, she starts to eat but it is easy to tell she has lost something of her appetite. "I think part of him misses you, though. In his own, strange, obsessive way."

Able swirls the clear, pungent German brandy around and around, savoring the crisp aroma He's still looking into it when he replies. "I imagine you're right on all counts. That's why I put as much distance as I could between us. And why I'm so surprised to see you here, of all places." Though his tone remains deceptively mild, his statement still makes more than one implication. He takes a sip and looks up at Helga over the rim of his glass. "Not many places to hide a gun in a dress like that."

Helga is a smart woman and she picks up on what Able isn't saying, that causing her to push her plate away, no longer hungry in the slightest. "And here I was, thinking only Father could hurt my feelings." Not one to beat around the bush, she looks at herself, taking in the garment that was just mentioned, the end result being a shrug. "There are many more ways to kill someone than with a gun, you know. But have no worries, Able. I have no desire to cause you harm."

One lapel is pinched delicately between finger and thumb, then drawn back as Able reaches into his pocket with his other hand. No danger here, just a silver smoker's case. He pops it open and produces a matching lighter and a slim, black cigarillo. When he lights it, the smoke is sweet-smelling and mild rather than acrid or bitter. The haze creates a wreath around him as he considers Helga's words. "Very well," he concedes. Gentlemanly to the core, he holds the remaining cigars out toward her and raises an eyebrow inquiringly. "But you can understand why I might think that. You're nothing if not your father's daughter."

The smoke has Helga moving back away from the haze as it starts to form around Able slightly, it a habit she never got into herself and greatly dislikes in others. The offer is refused by the blonde politely with a shake of her head and a tight smile. "Able, I might be his blood but I think you were more his child in his mind than I ever will be." The glass is lifted from the bar top and drank from, finally, the red liquid slowly drained from her glass. When it is set down again she uses a napkin to dab a few stray drops from her lips. "I guess I should go as it seems like my presence is causing you discomfort and I'd hate to be the reason your evening is ruined. Would you be a dear and pay for this for me?" With what she ordered, Able probably will be paying quite a lot for her uneaten dinner if he agrees to pay.

There's a crackle and spark from Able's small cigar that's audible in the otherwise quiet restaurant. He stares at the burning ember for what feels like a very long moment. When he look back at Helga, his piercing blue eyes fix unflinchingly on hers. "He never loved either of us. Not really. Obsessed with me, maybe. Always expecting more from you. No, he only loved Baker."

His smoke is stubbed out in a nearby ash tray, then he reaches back into his pocket. Like the rest of his accouterments, his money clip is simple, elegant silver. He peels of enough bank notes to cover their tabs and then some.

Even though she's a bit miffed at Able at the moment Helga finds a pen and a cocktail napkin, the former used to write down the name of the hotel she's staying at and her room number upon the latter. It is given to him, her expression sad, tears standing out in those aqua-blue eyes of hers. "I am not feeling well so I am going to go and retire for the evening. Call me later." Making with her exit, now, she leaves without so much as turning back to look behind her, leaving behind a very confused Matre'd in her wake.

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